Media tycoon Bill Parrish (Anthony Hopkins) has lived a rich life in every sense but fears that his days are numbered. He is offered a temporary reprieve, however, when Death takes over the body of an attractive young man and decides to spend some quality time on Earth.
Brad Pitt stars as the Grim Reaper in this remake of the 1934 fantasy Death Takes a Holiday, giving ailing media magnate Hopkins an offer he can’t refuse – extra life, provided Death can spend a few days living among mortals.
However, no one is more startled by Pitt’s arrival than Hopkins’s beautiful doctor daughter (Claire Forlani), because Death (who adopts the pseudonym “Joe Black”) has taken over the body of the handsome blonde stranger she met earlier in a coffee shop.
Only Bill faces death head-on, since the other major characters don’t know who Joe is. Joe comes to admire Bill as the old man battles corporate sharks to keep control of his company.
A reported $90 million budget was lavished to show the rich enjoying their privileges in a Newport, Rhode Island, mansion by the sea and a Manhattan triplex with a penthouse pool.
Martin Brest’s weepie is nicely played but overlong at three hours – especially considering the original zipped by in under 80 minutes.
Joe Black/man in coffee shop
Marcia Gay Harden
David S Howard