Will Smith wants you to believe that Seven Pounds is a "feel good" movie of the holiday season. Seven Pounds isn't a heartwarming "male chick flick" about an IRS agent. It's actually about a man named, Ben Thomas, who is so depressed about a driving accident he caused while talking on his cellphone that he decides to "pay it forward" in honor of his victims. One critic described the film like Pay It Forward with organ transplants" with Smith portraying "a suicidal savior." This sums up the movie which doesn't really have much of a plot. Did you notice that Will Smith and Rosario Dawson deliberately avoided mentioning the movie during their press tour? Will and Rosario talked about Barack Obama, their brief love scene, golf, their family and everything else except key plot points in the script on Oprah. Watch a scene do what you promised me where Will Smith's character argues with his friend about his decision to commit suicide.
Will Smith Makes 'Male Chick Flick'
The plot was so thin in this movie that we can't even tell you Will Smith's character's name in the film because it will give away some plot points and reveal too much of the story. Tom Cruise's son, Connor, makes a cameo as a young Will Smith in the movie to provide some exposition but he doesn't have any dialogue.
We can say that Will Smith's character feels so grief stricken about the lives he changed the instant he didn't pay attention to the road that he decides to give everything he owns away including his life and belongings. How does it resolve anything if you fall in love with someone and then literally give your heart away?
Rosario Dawson plays an ailing young woman who is dying from a heart condition. Will Smith spends the entire movie stalking Rosario's character and other characters like Woody Harrelson's blind man with pained expressions on his face. It is a fact that the topics of race and ethnicity are never discussed in this film but it just doesn't make any sense for Will Smith's character to be flashing an IRS badge and magically appearing at people's front doors. This character is a Black man in America and there are certain things he shouldn't be doing like running down the street in the rain for no reason. There was a scene in Lawrence Kasdan's 1992 film Grand Canyon when a culture shocked African-American teenager is running down the street in LA for no reason and the cops pulled him over. That would have been more realistic but this movie is dealing with sugar coated organ donor idealism which is likely to depress the audience and is far from uplifting.
Here are some other examples of the times when Will's character is in creepy full stalker mode.
1. The scene when Will's character appears in Rosario's front yard and feeds food to her dog.
2. The scene when Will Smith shows up unannounced and appears pulling weeds in her backyard.
3. The scene when Will Smith breaks into Rosario's house while she is sleeping and fixes her broken printing press.
Will Smith has been using his charm and personality to sell this film as something that it isn't. The key to Will Smith's successful career has been his likeability factor with audiences.
We liked Will in the popular Men in Black series and thought he was great in the romantic comedy,Hitch, opposite Latina hottie Eva Mendes. We know that Oscar nominated actor Will has the dramatic chops from his breakthrough performance in "Six Degrees of Separation". We believe that Will Smith fans are going to see this movie expecting an upbeat Will Smith flick and if they do they are going to be disappointed. The Pursuit of Happyness was a success because Will's son Jaden is so adorable and everyone just loved him in the movie. The story of an African-American father who is struggling to raise his son and make a living was a powerful message that resonated with the Black community who supported the film and organized screenings. However, the Black community has enough problems without rallying around a movie that promotes the message that people who are suffering from severe depression should commit suicide and donate their organs without mentioning anything about morality in the medical profession or the Hippocratic Oath. We enjoy seeing Will Smith as a competent and compassionate superhero. The mess that was Hancock wasn't a superhero. Hancock was a crass and gross out flying version of Dave Chapelle's crackhead character Tyrone Biggums. People will pay in these trying economic times to see Will Smith save humanity. Everyone just wants to get their money's worth when spending hard earned cash for escapist entertainment. Grade C+
Spoiler Whiners Beware: Just to be fair about things, N.Y. Post critic Kyle Smith is calling Seven Pounds the third-best movie of '08, or at least his choice for same. This Gabrielle Muccino-Will Smith film, he says, is "simple but perfect, so classically structured that, except for the modern technology in it, it's like a redemption fable handed down from the ancients."
Smith's critical colleague Lou Lumenick, already concerned with Smith's growing grandiosity, feels differently. He says -- HERE IT COMES, SPOILER-AVERSE! -- that Seven Pounds (Columbia, 12.19) "should be more accurately titled Seven Hundred Pounds of Schmaltz...it's like Pay It Forward with organ transplants" with Smith portraying "a suicidal savior."
Uh-oh....I can already hear and feel the reader rage. We work very hard at keeping our heads in the sand, the spoiler whiners are saying, and since we believe that story and subject matter are 90% if not 95% of the game and that how the film is made -- the undercurrents, the things that are not said but felt, the tone and pace of it, the emphasis choices, the performances, the music, the editing style, etc. -- is strictly an esoteric toss-up that no one can finally gauge the quality of one way or the other, we believe it is out right and our duty to hunt down Lumenick on the streets of New York and let him feel our wrath first-hand. source
“Seven Pounds” slogs about, impressed with its own supposed depth, as we watch Will Smith play a man attempting to pay for his past sins. Director Gabriele Muccino (“The Pursuit of Happyness”) seems to think he’s in Ingmar Bergman territory, but he’s actually made the longest, most dour episode of “My Name is Earl” imaginable.
The film begins with Ben Thomas (Smith) calling 911 to report his own suicide — this literally happens in the first five seconds, so it’s not a spoiler — and then, rather than putting all of us out of our misery at the same time, “Seven Pounds” spends the next two hours telling us how he got there.
because there’s almost no other way to sell this movie, the marketing
campaign for “Seven Pounds” has been aggressively vague about what
actually happens and even what the title means. All that mystery is
pretty much for naught, since any attentive viewer will figure out the
ending (and also what, exactly, those 112 ounces represent) about half
an hour in. source