Meet Joe Black

06  FEB
No one can die - while he loves!

Directed by  Martin Brest
Written by  Ron Osborn, Jeff Reno, Kevin Wade, Bo Goldman
Starring:  Brad Pitt (Joe Black)
Anthony Hopkins (William Parrish)
Claire Forlani (Susan Parrish)
Jake Weber (Drew)
Marcia Gay Harden (Allison)
Jeffrey Tambor (Quince)
Runtime: 178 minutes

Featuring a length that can be compared to James Cameron's Titanic, Meet Joe Black has a much lower quality/length ratio! Usually a movie can be made so long because it has a complex story or even because it is expected to win an Academy Award (like The English Patient!) but none of these apply to this 'average' movie.

The surreal story is about Death that comes on Earth, takes the body of a charming guy and follows a businessman, Bill Parrish, during the last days of his life. The arrival of this mysterious man into Parrish's life causes various troubles to his job and to his family, especially when his daughter Susan falls in love with this ingenuous and captivating youth. Due to the weird nature of this relationship, Bill has to find a way to come out of this situation...

The moment I enjoyed more is when Brad Pitt is hit by a car (so that Death could take his body), having seen some trailers this event should be quite predictable but in fact it is rather unexpected and spectacular. The only other interesting parts are the various funny scenes where the clueless Death discovers the 'pleasures' of human life or when the situation provides easy jokes about dying (eg. "The only certain things in life are death and taxes").

The most annoying feature of the movie are the 'serious' dialogues. In fact, they were slow, dull and full of pauses and the dialogues that would have been interesting seem to be missing. For example, I consider it 'normal' to ask Death a lot of questions regarding life, universe and everything else, so why did Bill never asked anything sensible? Moreover, why did Death seem so clueless about many aspects of human life while in other occasions it seemed to be all knowing (as it should be)?

The 'prologue' to the actual story is rather long, but the most interminable part of the movie is the end. There are many points at the end of the story where I hoped the movie would end, but it didn't! It went on and on again, another 'probable' ending and another delusion, until the actual end came, which was the worst one, obviously.

While the love story is the central key of the movie, I have been pleased to find various other sub-plots which are less obvious and especially less boring. This is why I hoped the movie to finish earlier, with an abrupt drop of the love affair, rather than heading to an unconvincing and weak finale.

Rating: 6.2  **

Links:  Official Site




© Copyright Sergio Monesi, 1997-1999.
Last updated: 25 Jun 1999