Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

AdChoices
Will Smith as Howard in the New Line Cinemas, Village Roadshow Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures drama "COLLATERAL BEAUTY," a Warner Bros Pictures release. (Barry Wetcher/Barry Wetcher)
Will Smith as Howard in the New Line Cinemas, Village Roadshow Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures drama "COLLATERAL BEAUTY," a Warner Bros Pictures release. (Barry Wetcher/Barry Wetcher)

Collateral Beauty is a tear-jerker that will appeal to sentimentalists Add to ...

  • Directed by David Frankel
  • Written by Allan Loeb
  • Starring Will Smith, Edward Norton and Helen Mirren
  • Classification PG
  • Country USA
  • Language English

Perhaps inspired by A Christmas Carol, the tear-jerking and star-studded Collateral Beauty will appeal to sentimentalists and suckers for platitudes, while those with more discerning tastes will wonder what the Dickens this film is trying to say.

Will Smith is Howard, a philosophic, hyper-charismatic advertising executive who falls into a deep depression when his young daughter dies.

He deals with the grief by perilously riding a bicycle around Manhattan and posting therapeutic letters to what he sees as life’s interlocking constants: time, love and death.

To his surprise, the three abstract concepts (played by Jacob Latimore, Keira Knightley and an excellent Helen Mirren) answer him.

There’s some cleverness to the film’s structure, but some of the comic-caper moments are out of whack with the film’s otherwise anguished tone.

A domino-effect metaphor goes nowhere, and what is the silver lining – the collateral beauty – to the death of a child?

Scriptwriter Allan Loeb, the man behind more than one Kevin James vehicle, attempts Christmastime magic à la Miracle on 34th Street, but ends up conjuring Maudlin on Madison Avenue instead.

Report Typo/Error

Follow on Twitter: @BWheelerglobe

More Related to this Story

Next story

loading

Trending

loading

Most popular videos »

Highlights

More from The Globe and Mail

Most popular