Jack McCall is a literary agent who never stops talking, and the majority of the words out of his mouth are lies in order to help him take shortcuts to success. He meets with a famous guru named Dr. Sinja, and he lies constantly directly to the man's face. Sinja realizes the false nature of McCall's spirit, and he agrees to a deal with him, but that night, McCall finds a tree has magically sprouted in his backyard. Sinja tells McCall that for every word he says or writes, a leaf will fall off the tree. When McCall has said enough that the tree is absent of leaves, then he will die. This obviously makes things very tough considering his reliance on his motor mouth, and he immediately starts losing job opportunities. His wife also leaves him, convinced that his failure to talk to her means he doesn't care about her anymore. He tries to explain the situation with the tree to her, but, unsurprisingly, she doesn't believe him. In a desolate mood one night, he gets drunk and uses up many of his words, causing his tree to look rather thin. McCall confronts Sinja and asks him how he can manage to undo what he's done. Sinja tells McCall that he needs to make peace in all of his relationships, and only then will the tree's powers no longer affect him. With only one branch left, McCall must set out to try to make right his life, while using as few words as possible.
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Best part of story, including ending:
It's a heart-warming tale of fixing one's life, but unfortunately, there really aren't many funny jokes in it, and thus Eddie Murphy is wasted in this role.
Best scene in story:
The ending of the film, involving McCall going to the grave of his father who he never got along with, is a touching moment.
Opinion about the main character:
McCall is definitely not a nice guy at the start, but by the end, he's won you over. Sadly, the script doesn't provide him with enough depth to really merit true sympathy.