directed by Martin Brest
Don’t even roll your eyes at me, you jerks. Did you even watch Meet Joe Black? Or did you just bitch through the trailer, then never actually give Martin Brest’s strange and romantic film an earnest viewing? Well, I did, and guess what? I loved it! That cat is out of the bag. Brad Pitt is patently strange as Joe, aka Death, mysterious houseguest of William Parrish (a solid and excellent Anthony Hopkins). Death cuts a deal with William; the longer Mr. Parrish entertains him by showing him around the world and teaching him about life, the longer William gets to hang around the land of the living. Joe has the hots for William’s foxy daughter (classic Death), the wonderful and underrated Claire Forlani, which throws a cosmic wrench in the works. I will concede that the sequence in which Brad Pitt speaks in a horrendous (actually, what’s worst than horrendous?) island dialect is nearly unbearable, but the sheer joy of seeing Marcia Gaye Harden and Jeffrey Tambor act the hell out of their roles more than makes up for that mess of a scene. Meet Joe Black is a guilty pleasure, to be sure, but it’s a pleasure I am not ashamed to indulge ever now and again. Give it another shot, I beg you.