“Collateral Beauty” is one of those movies you would like to see again and again just so you can memorize the many wonderful quotes that are scattered throughout this beautiful film. Right from the beginning, I wished I could dig into my purse in the dark and find a pen and paper so that I could try to write down many of the things the actors said. Yet I knew that without any light to see what I was writing, I’d be good to read any scribbles that might try to later pass as quotes.
“Collateral Beauty” is about a successful New York advertising executive who suffers the loss of his young daughter and ends up retreating from life to the point of cutting off his friends and co-workers. They’re at a loss as to how to help him and they become desperate.
Trying to cope, Howard (played by Will Smith) writes letters to Love, Time, and Death. His friends find out about this and they hire actors to play those three roles by visiting him and trying to help him through his pain. Or are they really actors? They not only help Howard, but end up helping his friends with their issues as well.
Before his daughter dies, he tells his employees in a meeting, "We're here to connect. Love, time, death. Now these three things connect every single human being on earth. We long for love, we wish we had more time, and we fear death." Little did he know how prophetic these words would be to him and how they would help him deal with his grief.
The actress who appears to him as Love tells him, “Love is the reason for everything. I was there in her laugh, but I’m also here now in your pain. I’m the fabric of life. I am the reason for everything. If you can accept that, then maybe you get to live again.”
The actor who plays Time tells him, “I’m time. You wrote me because you need me. I’m a gift, and you’re wasting it.”
The actress who plays Death tells him, “You’ve been given a gift, this profound connection to everything. Just look for it and I promise you it’s there…the collateral beauty.”
And one of his friends asks him, “What if love, death, and time are trying to help you?
“Collateral Beauty” is more than just a movie. It’s a beautiful message to us from the Universe and it really touched my heart. There’s even a possibility it may bring comfort and peace to those who need it most.
If given a chance, what would you say to Love, Time, and Death? To all three, I would say thank you because they’ve given me so much more wisdom and understanding, and they’ve made me a better person because they are a part of my life.
“In the most difficult circumstance, there is something beautiful to be seen.” Helen Mirren
Published in the Cookeville Herald Citizen newspaper December 23, 2016.