COLLATERAL BEAUTY (1 out of 10) Directed by David Frankel; Written by Allan Loeb; Starring Will Smith, Edward Norton, Kate Winslet, Michael Peña, Helen Mirren, Naomie Harris, Keira Knightley, Jacob Latimore; Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and brief strong language; Running time 97 minutes; In wide release Dec 16, 2016.
Why, Will Smith, why? Why, Helen Mirren?!?! In a season full of excellent films vying for Oscars and gorgeous crowd-pleasing blockbusters, this movie is literally the worst.
This is a movie stupid people would think deserves an Oscar. This is a movie for people who saw Deepak Chopra on Oprah and think he’s really deep. At our screening there were people who clapped after it was over. I have never felt a greater desire to tag those people and make sure they weren’t breeding than after seeing this. No. Just no.
It’s Christmastime in New York. Will Smith is an ad executive who lost his daughter to cancer who now spends his life grieving in a sort of fugue state. When his co-workers find out he’s been writing letters to the concepts of Time, Love, and Death, in an attempt to paint him as crazy (so they can have him declared incompetent and seize his interest in their agency to sell it– nice) they hire actors to play these concepts. . . but are they really actors, or are they like Dickensian ghosts with a greater purpose?
You know what? Who gives a @#$%?!?! This was trite, manipulative, contrived, and awful. How dare you? Seriously, how dare you?!? Hey, let’s make a bunch of people cry by giving a child cancer! Great idea. You and whoever wrote Christmas Shoes can go die in a holly jolly yuletide fire.
This movie is a waste. A waste of time. A waste of sentiment. And a waste of the considerable acting talents of its cast. A tiny bright spot goes to Michael Pena, only because he shows some range here and that he’s not just (brilliant) comic relief.
But with so many other options out there, why waste your time and money on this? Go see Rogue One. Go see Moana. If you’re looking for a movie with heartfelt themes and brilliant performances, go see Moonlight or Manchester by the Sea.
This movie is going to end up on a lot of end of year lists. But as one of the worst of 2016. And as crappy of a year as this has been, that’s saying something.