Meet Joe Black

Bomb Rating: 

This film's last hour, which is the third of three long hours mind you, is one of the most self-indulgent, putrid pieces of melodrama ever put on screen.

I wish it weren't so, but the image that resonated in my brain after seeing "Meet Joe Black" was of director Martin Brest, bent over naked in a theater chair trying desperately to reach his own weenie. This film's last hour, which is the third of three long hours mind you, is one of the most self-indulgent, putrid pieces of melodrama ever put on screen. It's like Barney has shot himself up with some Prozac and is going to make real sure everybody knows love, dammit!

Joe Black (Brad Pitt) loves Susan (Clair Forlani). Susan loves Joe. Susan loves her dad, Bill (Anthony Hopkins). Bill loves Susan. Bill loves his other daughter, Allison (Marcia Gay Harden). Allison loves her dad. Allison also loves her dorky husband, Quince (Jeffrey Tambor). And he loves her. Joe thanks Bill. Bill thanks Joe. This all happens during Bill's 65th birthday party while fireworks are going off all over the place because Bill is a billionaire media mogul and he can do shit like that.

Joe Black is actually Death himself, come to take Bill away. The deal is, Bill will show Joe around for awhile and let him experience what it means to be human, then Joe will take Bill to wherever it is Death takes people -- Salt Lake City probably.

Maybe Brest was dropping acid during filming because it certainly seems time was moving at some other-worldly pace for him. For God's sake, this is a mediocre story about Death falling in love. It's not "War and Peace"! Three fucking hours! Finally, the credits roll mercifully at the 180-minute mark only to be accompanied by some annoying rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Martin Brest could not have taken a weedeater to the underside of my scrotum and caused me more pain.

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