I saw a movie on Christmas Day that I feel compelled to write about: Will Smith's Seven Pounds. Critics have battered it.
Not to be contrary, I have to say that I liked it.
Yes, it made me weep. I was miserable for hours afterward, so miserable and disappointed about having seen a downer on Christmas Day that I slapped the poor guy who took me.
I'm not going to summarize the plot. You'll find that done elsewhere easily enough. I'm not going to regurgitate negative commentary here, either. I'll just say that while I agree with some of the comments, I disagree with their conclusions.
I agree that it was achingly sad, but ... I'm glad I saw it. Maybe I stayed in Europe for too long, where despair and the desire for redemption might be considered worthy subject matter, and where there's less preference for the contrived and saccharine storylines that we Americans strongly prefer.
The thing is, I do enjoy the contrived and saccharine. Very much so. They nourish my rather shaky sense of optimism. Having spent the last couple of months obsessing over the "realities" of life as we know it, and can expect it, through the prism of the esteemed New York Times, I was ready for the mindless relief of a truly heady dish of junk-food cinema, the deprivation of which led me to slap a really good friend. I wanted to laugh and be happy, especially on Christmas Day. Instead, I found myself weeping like an idiot, in public.
For a moment, I was furious.
But then I calmed down, and I realized that when all was said and done, it felt good to have downed this bit of cinematic medicine. This is indeed a movie that makes you want to call someone and say, "You won't believe this, but ..."
I wasn't the only one to dissolve into tears, and many in the audience burst into appreciative applause as the movie came to an end.
So, I don't give a damn what the critics say. I recommend Seven Pounds, especially if you're in the mood for a cathartic bout of weeping -- always a good thing to have, I'd say, at the end of the year.
Best wishes for very Happy Holidays,
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