On some level, it might have been better if this drippy cinematic therapy session had launched itself into full-on bat-shit crazy, instead of flitting around the edges of just-plain-goofy. The full premise is too preposterous to summarize; it involves a grieving ad exec (Will Smith) and a plan by his business partners (Edward Norton, Kate Winslet and Michael Peña) to convince him that he’s being visited by Death (Helen Mirren), Love (Keira Knightley) and Time (Jacob Lattimore), but that doesn’t really do justice to its convoluted weirdness. That’s a boatload of talent to throw at something this earnestly platitudinous, as screenwriter Allan Loeb provides the kind of material that encourages Smith to do the “crumple the corners of my mouth” thing he sometimes confuses for serious acting. And this most decidedly isn’t a movie for people who watch a lot of other movies, and who will be far ahead of the plot turns that qualify as emotional revelations here. If you’re going to attempt a plot this preposterous, it’s best not to plod through it as though it were the most profound thing in the world, instead of farce that never got the “be funny” memo.
Director: David Frankel
Producer: Bard Dorros, Michael Sugar, Allan Loeb, Anthony Bregman, Kevin Frakes, Toby Emmerich, Richard Brener, Michael Disco, Steven Mnuchin, Michael Bederman, Ankur Rungta, Peter Cron, Steven Pearl and Bruce Berman
Cast: Will Smith, Edward Norton, Kate Winslet, Michael Peña, Helen Mirren, Naomie Harris, Keira Knightley, Jacob Latimore, Ann Dowd, Liza Colón-Zayas, Natalie Gold, Kylie Rogers, Shirley Rumierk, Alyssa Cheatham, Benjamin Snyder and Mary Beth Peil