I got around to seeing Meet Joe Black on a Wednesday or Thursday I think I cried for the last 45 minutes of the movie all the way through the. Ahh yea the best part of the movie. Joe sits atop the stairway (and we are unsure if to heaven or hell) waiting for William. He shed tears as he gazes at the. Meet Joe Black” is a movie about a rich man trying to negotiate the terms the years at faking orgasms on camera, usually with copious cries of.
Susan meets a vibrant young man at a coffee shop. He takes an interest in her and tells her that lightning may strike.
She is enamored but parts without getting his name.
F This Movie!: Nobody Cares But Me: Meet Joe Black
Unbeknownst to her, the man is struck by multiple cars in a possibly fatal accident. Death arrives at Bill's home in the uninjured body of the young man, explaining that Bill's impassioned speech has piqued his interest. Given Bill's "competence, experience, and wisdom", Death says that for as long as Bill will be his guide on Earth, Bill will not have to die.
Making up a name on the spot, Death is introduced to the family as "Joe Black". Bill's best efforts to navigate the next few days, knowing them now to be his last, fail to keep events from going rapidly out of his control.
Drew is secretly conspiring with a man bidding for Parrish Communications. He capitalizes on Bill's strange behavior and unexplained reliance on Joe to convince the board of directors to vote Bill out as Chairman, using information given to him inadvertently by Bill's son-in-law, Quince, to push through approval for the merger which William had decided to oppose.
Susan is confused by the appearance of Joe, believing him to be the young man from the coffee shop, but eventually falls deeply in love with him. Joe is now under the influence of human desires and becomes attracted to her as well. After they make love, Joe asks Susan, "What do we do now? As his last birthday arrives, Bill appeals to Joe to recognize the meaning of true love and all it encompasses, especially honesty and sacrifice.
Joe comes to understand that he must set aside his own desire and allow Susan to live her life.
My problem isn't that I'm a take-my-ball-and-go-home kind of guy; my problem is that I'm a stay-home-and-never-go-play-ball-in-the-first-place kind of guy. Knowing that I'm just going to go out there and lose makes me never want to get in the game. And I'm eventually going to lose.
It has the pacing of a tortoise fucking a sloth. I don't care about any of that. The movie works for me. I think I've told the story before. I got around to seeing Meet Joe Black on a Wednesday or Thursday afternoon in a few weeks after it was already in theaters. I was nearly alone in the theater; it was just me and two middle-aged women who talked loudly to one another through most of the running time. From its opening moments -- a looong sequence in which Anthony Hopkins is visited several times by Death and comes to the realization that his days are numbered -- I was completely invested.
Emmanuel Lubezki's photography is impossibly beautiful.
Same for Thomas Newman's score, which some critics accused of being cloying and treacly and which can still make me start crying to this day. I think I cried for the last 45 minutes of the movie all the way through the end credits set to Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's cover of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow.
This is crazy because watching it with any sort of emotional distance reveals that it's super repetitive as Anthony Hopkins says goodbye to one person after another. That shit worked for me. Some movies just hit us in the right way at the right time. I knew that about myself in and I know it still today. I won't defend Meet Joe Black as a great film. I won't even defend it as an underrated one, as I recognize that everyone's reasons for disliking the movie are completely valid.
But the movie offered me something I needed on that weekday afternoon and continues to offer me something I need today. It is a movie that is not sad about death or loss. It's a movie that says living a good life is its own reward, and when the time finally comes to leave that has to be enough.
Of course, it helps that Anthony Hopkins' character, a media tycoon named Bill Parrish, is a billionaire.
Meet Joe Black - Wikipedia
Living a "good life" comes more easily to those with all the fuck you money in the world. This is an aspect of the movie I struggled with for a long time, because for all its universal messages about dying I felt like it completely removed itself from the real world by focusing on an incredibly wealthy and powerful family planning an incredibly huge and extravagant party.
But it comes in part, I think, from the fact that Martin Brest's screenplay is an adaptation of the film Death Takes a Holiday, in which Frederic March plays Death taking over the body of a nobleman.
It's a movie about a royal family, and clearly Brest chose to suggest that the Ted Turner-like media tycoon of his version is the American equivalent of royalty. Or maybe it's a choice driven by plot; would Death now Brad Pitt want to hang out on Earth for a week if he came across a family crammed into a two-bedroom apartment?
Maybe he just wanted to live the good life for a few days. But what it really comes down to, I think -- and the reading that makes me most comfortable with what the film is about -- is the idea that death comes for us all.
It is the great equalizer, and while Bill Parrish is able to pass away in greater comfort than someone wasting away in a hospital bed or a homeless person freezing to death on the streets of a Chicago winter, the end result is the same.
It's inevitable, and Meet Joe Black is about that inevitability. All the money in the world doesn't change it. One of the movie's big problems is the performance of Brad Pitt, who has chosen to play Death as a morose, wide eyed child; it's weird that he has been around since the beginning of time and knows so much about the way the world works but is still amazed by peanut butter.
I have suggested before that Brad Pitt is a great character actor stuck with the looks of a leading man, and Meet Joe Black is that weird movie where those two halves of his screen persona come together uncomfortably. He's got his bland, blonde late-'90s look and is presented as the romantic lead of the film but attempts to infuse his performance with character actor choices and please don't get me started on the scene where he speaks in a Jamaican accent.
Maybe that's a miscalculation, or maybe they're just the wrong choices. His performance has all the energy and dynamism of syrup, which only makes a three-hour movie feel longer.
Ironically, he's at his best when he's just doing his nice-guy romantic comedy stuff early on in the film before some terrible late '90s CGI kills him off with one of the most shocking and weirdly mean-spirited car accidents ever committed to film. He has a long scene in which he has coffee with Claire Forlani -- what the great Roger Ebert dubbed the "meet cute" -- and their chemistry is lovely and adorable.