February 13th, 2008
I watched this because Nik reviewed it on his blog, Kill Everything. Click here for his post.
Nik didn’t like the movie much. Everything he says about it is true, but I liked it more than he did anyway. Probably because I like all movies so much.
I like it when Hollywood tries to examine deep themes of death and the afterlife. They can even cast Brad Pitt as the devil, I don’t care. I’ll go along with it. Meet Joe Black reminds me of the Hollywood angel movies City of Angels and Warren Beatty’s Heaven can Wait, and also Robin Williams’ What Dreams May Come.
On top of that, this movie has a reasonably interesting fish-out-of-water plot, although as Nik points out, wouldn’t death - the real thing, the Big Bad himself - pretty much know everything? After all, he is ageless and the near equal of God himself. To belabour a metaphor, he wouldn’t be a fish out of water. He’d know perfectly well how to be a fish. (But without the fish-out-of-water plot, there is no doubt that the movie would lose much of its limited charm.)
I don’t really have much more to say about it. It’s crass and vulgar, as you might expect from a movie about the very rich. And it features a love affair based on nothing much except the guy looking like Brad Pitt.
Pitt does a surprisingly good job, and the movie also stars the reliable Anthony Hopkins as his human guide. The most disturbing role is the female lead, played by Claire Forlani. She’s an attractive young woman, but she isn’t as attractive as Brad Pitt - who is? - and she plays her part with a disquieting desperation. She’s the kind of girl who’s pretty much begging to get herself hauled off to Hades like Persephone.
In my opinion this movie is worth a look, even if you hate it. I’m not saying it’s good. Just that it’s trying.