Mr. Movie

'Seven Pounds' shows pursuit of unhappyness

Will Smith’s Ben Thomas is a struggling Internal Revenue Service agent.

You learn quickly that Thomas wants to use his unique job to help several people. A few painful clues later and you learn each has a disability.

The secret of Thomas’ troubles is produced in confusing pieces a dollop at a time. Each fragment manages to irritate rather than inform. Half a movie and you’re still in snippet territory.

You’ve already figured it out and are ready to move on, but director Gabriele Muccino doesn’t think you’re bright enough to get the hint so he keeps -- pardon the pun -- pounding away.

I did that extra hour kicking and screaming.

Seven Pounds is six pounds too many and gives Smith nothing to do other than look glum and agonize over his unspecified crisis. Too many scenes have him holding his head in his hands and struggling to deliver his lines a…word…at…a…time.

Though several people are on Thomas’ list, he only manages a connection with one of them. Rosario Dawson’s Emily needs a heart. She and the agent do a slow, dreamy romantic dance that fills the middle and end.

At the film’s slowest point, Emily asks Ben if he’d like to hear her favorite song. Violating my own never-talk-in-a-movie code, I screamed “No!”

The comment drew some laughs and gave my wasted afternoon at the movies some much-needed life.

Muccino played the entire song anyway, and that’s part of what makes Seven Pounds the slowest movie in the history of earth. The producers are proud to proclaim the film reunites Smith with his The Pursuit of Happyness director Muccino. So what? The Pursuit of Happyness is the world’s second-slowest movie ever.

If Muccino had a sense of humor, he would have named Seven Pounds The Pursuit of Unhappyness.

Mr. Movie rating: 1 stars

Rated PG-13 for mature themes. It opens Dec. 19 at the Carmike 12 and at the Fairchild Cinemas 12.

5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen

4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.

3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.

2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.

0 stars: Speaks for itself.

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