ZERO STARS/**** Image A+ Sound A Extras F
starring Will Smith, Edward Norton, Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren
written by Allan Loeb
directed by David Frankel
by Walter Chaw Collateral Beauty is the conversation you had that one time with the stupidest person you've ever met, in that it's so stupid it poses an existential problem for you. It happened to me once when, as a bartender, one of the waitresses asked me with concern how she could transform the Coke float she'd ordered into the Sprite float the customer had ordered. I didn't know. I still don't. And not having the answer to a question posed by the stupidest person you've ever met is horrifying. It's like you come home one day and your guinea pig greets you with a zen kōan. It's Kafka's great unwritten tale. It's Collateral Beauty: a question with no answer posed by the stupidest movie ever made. Really, the only solution is to dump it out and start from scratch. Collateral Beauty is about grief, sort of, and gaslighting, and it's shot like a visit to Whole Foods in the sense that it's burnished with a classy patina and full of pretty people you'd like to be. Then you get to the checkout lane and it's too much but you're too embarrassed to put anything back. Also the food tastes like ass.