We know Will Smith is good for at least one blockbuster a year. He's already had "SuicideSquad" in 2016, but there's always room for another. In this one, his character has suffered a devastating personal tragedy, as a result, he writes angry letters to Love, Time and Death. To his dismay, he receives replies!
Director David Frankel ("Hope Springs"), working with writer Allan Loeb ("Here Comes the Boom") brings us another PG-13 movie that hits all his favorite sweet spots. It's sad, it's funny, it's relatable and it's a great showcase for Smith. He is skeptical and then exasperated when his letters are answered. There are moments when his eyes are not only sad, they are lifeless.
Let's look at some of the cast:
- * Will Smith ("Concussion") Howard has retreated from life. His colleagues are desperate, time is running out and he is unmoved by their dilemma.
- * Edward Norton ("Birdman") Whit has been a partner since Howard recruited him years ago. He feels a responsibility to the company and to their partnership.
- * Michael Peña ("The Martian") Simon will never divulge his own BIG secret.
- * Naomie Harris ("Spectre") The lovely Madeline tells other grieving parents in her self-help group that she too, has suffered a devastating loss.
- * Kate Winslet ("Steve Jobs") Claire wants Howard to recover but has major qualms about the method his partner has formulated to make that happen.
- * Jacob Latimore ("The Maze Runner") Raffi can't get Howard to understand that Timeis a gift. Howard wanted to trade his time for that of his loved one so he is furious that he is still alive.
- * Helen Mirren ("Eye in the Sky") Brigette tells him that she is Death. This sets off a great rant from Howard. He's heard it all! She is very funny and is SUCH an ACTRESS! (You'll see what I mean.)
- * Keira Knightley ("The Imitation Game") Amy is ready to make a deal. Neither Whitnor Howard are using the Love that surrounds them so she is ready to play hard ball.
- * Kylie Rogers ("Miracles From Heaven") Schoolgirl Allison calls her father a philanthropist. Whit corrects her and says she means a philanderer. Whatever... Bottom line, she is angry about her parents' divorce.
As you can tell, this story is all about grief and rage, so we were grateful for bits of nicely played humor... This one has more tears than I'm comfortable with and the suicidal midnight dash on a bicycle (in traffic!) is a tad much. Despite a top-notch cast, I'm afraid Frankel's reach has exceeded his grasp. The screening audience liked it, though... so I'm not always right. Can I say it's unpredictably predictable? This is for Will Smith fans...and there are a lot of us!