It’s time for a review blog takeover! My name is Danielle (also known as the wife) and I am doing a guest post today. Why am I taking over S.A.W you ask? Because today while I was doing some Halloween crafts, I flipped over to HBO and saw that they added Collateral Beauty to their line up. After watching it and reading other reviews, I felt the need to highlight the fact that this movie is actually pretty good, regardless of the reputation the people of the internet gave it.
Warning: If you don’t like spoilers, then this post is not for you. But let’s be real, the “twist” is revealed in the first 20mins and if you don’t figure out the other “twist” by the half way point…well that’s on you. They literally give you all the pieces and clear directions to put them together.
I give it 7 “letters to the cosmos” out of 10.
The trailer tells the entire plot. Howard (Will Smith) has lost his daughter, and like any normal human, is having a hard time dealing with lif afterwards. In his grieving process, he decides to write letters to the 3 things he based his company and life on: Death, Love, and Time. You quickly learn that the business he owns with his best friends is having some problems and their solution is to sell. The problem is that Howard has 60% voting power and he has checked out of life since his daughters death. He is refusing to acknowledge anything his friends say, whether it’s on a business or personal. So the 3 main characters decide that they need to figure out a way to help Howard and by proxy make the rest of the board think Howard is unfit to make his votes.
Whit (Edward Norton) by chance meets 3 struggling actors (or are they??) and he quickly convinces Claire (Kate Winslet) and Simon (Michael Pena) that they need to hire the 3 actors to portray Love, Death, and Time. They will talk to Howard and instigate passionate responses while a PI records and edits them, making him seem crazy. But wait! In true heart warming movie fashion, the 3 friends have lessons to learn too.
I love a movie that knows exactly what it is. Collateral Beauty is not some deep movie. It’s not one that you’re going to walk away from trying to figure out what the hell you watched. It knows it’s going to tug at your heartstrings. It clearly tells a story and doesn’t try to throw you curveballs in a sneaky way. All the twists are easy to understand and easy to predict. It’s a cute little nontraditional love story and that’s all it tries to be.
Honestly, I feel like the only bad part is, is that we don’t get to see more of the 3 friends. I don’t know how this movie rangled Edward Norton, Kate Winslet, and Michael Pena, but give me more dammit! All 3 of those actors are fantastic, intriguing, and just an all around joy to watch. Utilize them! Show off their acting skills! I also would have liked to see more interaction between the “actors” and Howard, specially Time. The conversations he held with them were heart breaking and it really felt like something that a grieving person would say if they got the chance to yell at Death, Time, and Love.
All in all, I liked the movie. It’s not something I’m going out of my way to watch over and over, but I will definitely stop when I see it on TV. I know the internet trashed everything from the trailer to the title to the cast, but honestly, give it a chance. I really think you will be surprised how much you actually end up liking it.
Will Smith is one of those actors that we all love, but has a tendency to pick bad movies or ones where he is the only highlight. One of my favorite Will Smith movies follows in the same vein as Collateral Beauty, a movie I liked but always seems to get picked on. So get out your 6 shooter and hat, because I’m talking about….
Wild Wild West!
Honestly, what’s not to love? Will Smith is the smart ass we all expect from him. Kevin Kline is a great brainy side kick. Dr. Loveless is over the top and often times the movie goes into silly territory. Giant mechanical spider anyone?
It was my first exposure to Steampunk, even though I had no idea that was even a thing til much later in life. Who knew almost 2 decades later there’d be a rising of nerds wearing clothes that look like they came out of the wardrobe department and attending comic cons across the country. So go watch Collateral Beauty to break your heart and get your warm fuzzies from the happy ending, then find your old vhs of Wild Wild West and laugh your ass off every time James West makes a joke at Loveless’ expense. What do you do after that you ask? Youtube Will Smiths song he released for Wild Wild West and be amazed that you still know all the lyrics.