Muscle of Love

on December 22, 2008 by Steve Simels

Well, it's late in the season, but I am pleased to report that we finally have a winner in the coveted category of Cinematic Mishegass of the Year. I refer, of course, to the putative Will Smith tearjerker Seven Pounds, a film whose wacky and astounding badness has left me pretty much at a loss for words. That being the case, allow me to quote from my personal hero, New York Times critic A.O. Scott, who nailed it in characteristically amusing fashion on Friday.

To wit:


Frankly, though, I don't see how any review could really spoil what may be among the most transcendently, eye-poppingly, call-your-friend-ranting-in-the-middle-of-the-night-just-to-go-over-it-one-more-time crazily awful motion pictures ever made.


Yup, that's pretty much on the money. Oh wait -- Scott has more.


Seven Pounds cries out to be remade as an Asian horror movie, so that the deep, creepy grotesqueness of its governing premise might be allowed to flourish, rather than to fester beneath the surface.


Uh, yeah, that's also pretty much inarguable. So, given that (with luck) I've now convinced you not to go see the thing, allow me to spoil the plot. Actually, it won't be so much a spoiler as a sort of rebus, but you get the idea.

Anyway, here goes.

An inexplicably caring I.R.S. agent (former Fresh Price of Bel Air Smith)...




...literally loses his heart...




to a beautiful but cardiac-challenged dog walker (Rosario Dawson)....




and then gives his peepers...


images-3.jpeg a saintly but blind musician/mail order steak salesman (Woody Harrelson)...




after committing suicide by getting into a lovely bathroom fixture...




...that's inhabited by a poisonous sea creature.




Not shown: the neatly lettered sign in front of the tub reading "DO NOT TOUCH THE JELLYFISH."

I am not making this up.

Incidentally, Scott really is one of my heroes; not only is he deeply perceptive and funny on the subject of movies, but he's also one of the sharpest observers of pop culture around generally. Let's just say that I took it as something of a personal victory last year when Bruce Springsteen's Magic album came out and the powers that be at the Times were smart enough to let Scott do the attendant Arts and Leisure feature rather than hand it off to one of their mostly appalling rock critics. You can read the thing here to see what I mean.


Tags: Seven Pounds, Bruce Springsteen, Will Smith, A.O. Scott, Rosario Dawson, Woody Harrelson

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