Entertainment Weekly - 12/04/1998
"...Hopkins in a performance of great delicacy..."
Box Office - 01/01/1999
"...Powered by a superlative cast and magnificent technical contributions..."
This modern fantasy stars Anthony Hopkins as William Parrish, a wealthy New York City media mogul who suffers a heart attack on the eve of his 65th birthday; although he survives, he senses that his death is near. On the same day, Parrish's younger daughter, Susan (Claire Forlani), meets a handsome young stranger (Brad Pitt) at a neighboring coffee shop and is instantly smitten. As they part, the young stranger is killed and his body is occupied by Death, who is coming to Earth to warn Parrish that his death is, indeed, imminent. Death enters the Parrish household disguised as Joe Black, the handsome stranger, and although Parrish understands Death's intentions he lets the family believe that Joe Black is a young business associate. Susan is shocked to find the familiar young man at her family dinner that evening, and, as she begins a passionate love affair with the debonaire stranger, she has no idea that she has fallen not for the young stranger from the coffee shop but for Death himself. In an effort to prolong his life and his daughter's happiness, William agrees to take Joe on a tour of human life that includes board meetings, family parties, and, ultimately, romance. As long as Joe falls in love, Parrish remains alive. This version was inspired by the Alberto Casella play DEATH TAKES A HOLIDAY and the subsequent 1934 film.