I thought Will Smith was losing his edge with the movie, Hancock, but he gained my interest back with Seven Pounds, which was released in theaters December 19, 2008.
The story centers around a man named Ben Thomas (Smith) whose fiance died in a tragic car accident that also killed 6 other people (see the significance of the title, yet?). Thomas never really got over the tragedy and he has been constantly searching for ways to pay back the world what they lost when his car hit the van full of decent people. He befriends people who he believes to be deserving of his “gifts” he wants to offer by saying he is with the IRS and has to settle their accounts with them. He finds his brother needs a tube in his lung replaced, a little boy needs a bone marrow transplant, a woman needed part of a liver, a man needed a kidney, he gave his home to a woman on the run from her abusive husband with her two children, another character played by Woody Harrelson as Ezra Turner, is blind and needs a cornea transplant and the seventh person to accept a donation from Thomas is Rosario Dawson‘s character Emily Posa. Thomas shows up in the hospital where Posa has been admitted and watches her from afar. When she recognizes him, he explains that he is from the IRS and she owes the government more than $52,000. He keeps showing up at her house, helping her out in various ways; pulling weeds, fixing one of her antique prized possessions and keeping her company when the doctors tell her she has 4-6 weeks to live. He seemingly unexpectedly falls in love with her and knows at that moment what he has to do. No spoilers here, but he gives her literally what people figuratively say they give to someone when they fall in love. How ironically cute.
Other details are left out, of course, go see the movie. Gabriele Muccino directed it, as well as one of Smith’s other dramas The Pursuit of Happyness. The movie starts off a bit slow. I can respectfully say that with the proof that my dad and the guy next to me both dosed off a few times. Snoring heard from my seat, thanks. But as soon as the pieces began to fall together in the audience made up of mostly older people and couples, everyone was wide awake and I even caught myself on the edge of my seat a few times. Will Smith, as per usual in his dramas, gave a good performance. Kudos to the whole cast for having to cry SO much and so an impeccable amount of emotion in this film. I would say this is BY FAR Rosario Dawson’s best films. She really is very believable as a sick person. Type-casting again, Hollywood? She also played a drug-addicted-AIDS victim in the musical RENT in 2005; in both movies, she narrowly escaped death in the end, but this time…she doesn’t get the man…well, not really.
All said and done, I think you should definitely watch this movie, but expect to either leave the theater crying or see everyone else (including men) leaving the theater crying. Very emotional, NOT depressing, just emotional.
A solid 3 and a half out of 5 stars due to the lack of catching my attention at the very beginning. Everything else was solid, though.