Ten years before David Fincher‘s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Brad Pitt starred in another “love story about death,” this moody, sometimes awkward and appealingly earnest supernatural melodrama. Pitt plays Death himself, and he’s come a’calling to a rich geezer whose time has come (Anthony Hopkins); however, Death allows the old man a few more days on Earth if he agrees to be the his host as he lives life as a mortal for a week, during which time he falls in love with Hopkins’ daughter (Claire Forlani, yet another would-be movie starlet who didn’t quite make it past the ’90s). Pitt’s performance is charming as he floats through the film in a dream state, looking at everything with a calm awe and wonder; his portrayal of the Grim Reaper as a whimsical, gentle flake goes a long way in making this silly story work, as does his rapport with Hopkins (who previously played his father in Legends of the Fall), who’s taking all of this rather refreshingly seriously. Meet Joe Black, for all of its modest pleasures, never quite transcends its one gaping flaw, however — it just has no damn business being three hours long.
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