Do you remember the days of life-affirming real-world fantasies? Yeah, me neither. That’s because they haven’t been successful since the 1940s, when we got films such as Miracle on 34th Street, It’s a Wonderful Life and A Matter of Life and Death. Everything about the film would be normal and realistic, and then a bit of magic would be introduced, in order to help the hero improve his life. While there are a few masterpieces, the genre mostly died out due to the less than stellar examples pervading the genre. However, Hollywood wants to give them another chance, and they’ve put together a massive team for this Christmas’ Collateral Beauty.
Will Smith stars as Howard Inlet, a New York advertising executive who has just suffered a massive personal tragedy. His friends (Edward Norton, Michael Peña, Naomie Harris and Kate Winslet) all begin to fear for his sanity as he begins to write to Love, Time and Death as a way of coping. However, one day, the three concepts decide to visit him (in the forms of Keira Knightley, Jacob Latimore, and Helen Mirren respectively), in order to set his life back on track.
This is…a weird concept. The film has had a rough few years trying to get it made, and it has gone through several stars and directors to reach this point. I’m willing to give it a shot. That is an all-star cast, an interesting story, and David Frankel is a decent director. However, the out-there nature of the whole thing, the fact that Allan Loeb (who wrote the unbearable The Switch) wrote the screenplay, and the fact that test screenings for this film were historically bad advise me to be wary. We’ll have knowledge of its quality when the film finally comes out December 16. You can watch the trailer below.