Ben Oliver

Banner image for Collateral Beauty

Collateral Beauty

Just make sure you notice the collateral beauty.
21 April 2017

Let me just take you through the absolute shitshow that is Collateral Beauty. There is no simple way to describe the plot, since it is one of the most contrived, poorly thought-out ideas in cinema history.

Will Smith plays the charming, inspirational head of a New York advertising firm. This lasts about five minutes until we fast forward a few years to find Smith’s character a husk of his former self following the death of his daughter. As part of his grieving process he writes letters to the abstract concepts of time, love and death.

His depression causes concern at a board level in the company, and his colleagues (Kate Winslet, Edward Norton, Michael Peña) attempt to set up a sale. However, Smith doesn’t want to sell his shares. So, his colleagues and, I should add, best friends, hire actors to pretend like they actually got the letters he wrote.

They want to trick him into thinking he is talking to time, love and death then they hire a PI to record him talking like an insane person; all in order to force the sale of the company. The film-makers seem to think this is cute and fun but ignore the fact that it’s FUCKING MENTAL.

Frankel tries to play what is a sick, twisted plot worthy of a psychological thriller off as a romantic Christmas comedy. It’s weird, tone deaf, risible nonsense.

Reply by email