THE WEBER MOVIE COUNTDOWN

THE GOAL FOR 2018: 200 MOVIES WATCHED BY MIDNIGHT NEW YEAR'S EVE!  (AFTER TOPPING OUT AT 194 in 2017)

CAN HE DO IT?

​​THE WEBER MOVIE COUNTDOWN

#175 is the brand new Collateral Beauty. It's not beautiful. Howard (Will Smith) is an ad agency exec who withdraws from the world and his friends and co-workers when his six year old daughter dies. He does odd things like set up elaborate domino fields in the office as well as writing letters to Love, Time and Death and mailing them. The agency is going under unless Howard signs over his controlling interest, allowing his partners (Edward Norton, Kate Winslet and Michael... Pena) to sell to a bigger firm and keep working. HOW they go about getting that to happen is the basis of one of the most ludicrous scripts of the year!! Hey how about we get a private detective to steal those letters from the mailbox (!), hire three actors (Helen Mirren, Keira Knightley and Jacob Latimore) to play Death, Love and Time, and they'll follow him around, show him the letters and try to convince him to move on with his life. SURE!! Oh and they'll take his conversations with the threesome, edit him out, and also make him think he's crazy so he agrees to sell his share. And it gets worse. This is an icky, manipulative film with one bright spot - Helen Mirren, who's perfect as a cheery Death despite the crappy material. Smith gets to cry on his bike a lot, Knightley has almost nothing to do here but act cute, a caricature of a typical Keira Knightley role. 96 minutes felt like 996 minutes as the film chugged to its sappy conclusion. And a twist at the end makes everything even worse. I'm all for suspending disbelief when a film earns your respect - when that happens you'll buy in and enjoy the film no matter where it goes. Collateral Beauty disrespects its audience instead with this story. Some may like this but I'm not one of them.

TLA one-word review: manipulative

COLLATERAL BEAUTY (2016)