The romantic fantasy drama, Meet Joe Black, was a confluence of a unique storyline with a set of incredibly talented actors. The film tackled the sensitive topic of death in such a touching and emotional manner, it tugged on our heartstrings and gave us a different viewpoint on life. The story followed Bill Parrish, portrayed by Anthony Hopkins (The Father), a successful business and devoted father who is visited on his 65th birthday by Death, who has taken on a human form as Joe Black, portrayed by Brad Pitt (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood). The unlikely duo made a deal where Bill is given a few extra days to live while Death spends the same amount of time to discover what it is to be human. The twist happens when Death, through Joe, falls in love with Bill’s youngest daughter, Susan, portrayed by Claire Forlani (Five Feet Apart). Here are five scenes from the film that tugged on our heartstrings:
5. The first encounter
Susan first crossed paths with Joe in a coffee shop right before he met an accident and who was physically taken over by death. Their first meeting may have been brief, but it was certainly impactful. Susan instantly felt a connection with this stranger, who she was not even able to get the name of, and it was evident that she wanted to get to know about him more. It broke our hearts to witness the untimely death of this handsome stranger who seemed to have a vibrant personality and was full of life. He and Susan had just bid goodbye to each other when he was hit by an incoming car while crossing the street. It was a heartbreaking end to what was supposed to be a potentially eventful first meeting.
4. The “lightning could strike” speech
Bill always seemed to know what to say at the right time. He was in a helicopter ride with Susan when he asked her about her relationship with then-boyfriend, Drew, portrayed by Jake Weber (Medium). His father’s instinct was telling him that Susan was not head over heels for drew, and he wanted to impart some words of wisdom for Susan to consider. We all got goosebumps while Bill was giving his speech on also listening to one’s heart, and not only one’s head. How it’s worth it to love like crazy and to be loved the same way back. He ended his beautiful words of advice with the lines, “To make the journey and not fall deeply in love, well, you haven’t lived a life at all. But you have to try, cause if you haven’t tried, you haven’t lived.” The film was full of intimate father and daughter moments, and this might very well be one of the top ones.
3. Joe says goodbye
The air of mystery surrounding Joe baffled Susan at first. He was very different from the man she first met at the coffee shop, and she could not put two and two together. Time went on and Joe became somewhat of a constant presence in Bill’s life. This also meant that he got to know Susan more, while also discovering what humanity felt like for the first time. We may have been rooting for Susan and the guy at the coffee shop to get together, but her chemistry with Joe was also one worth unraveling. The fact that they really could not fall in love with one another made their connection all the more interesting. It was difficult to see Joe bid goodbye to the temporary life he grew accustomed to, and most especially to Susan, who has grown to become something special. His stint with humanity has taught him the true meaning of truth and sacrifice.
2. Bill’s birthday speech
The scenes involving Bill and his children were probably the heaviest to watch. Knowing that his time on earth was limited made it all the more difficult to say goodbye. Bill accepted his fate and showed bravery and understanding until the end. He was able to celebrate his lavish 65th birthday party with his nearest and dearest, and this was enough for him. We were feeling a flurry of emotions by the time the film covered Bill’s last hurrah. It was a joy to witness the grand celebration for a very important person, but it was also heart wrenching to know that it was going to be his last. Bill, who was a master in giving speeches, gave another heartwarming speech to thank everybody who celebrated his birthday with him. At the end of it all, it was a life well lived by a man who was so loved by many.
1. Bill says goodbye
We were practically blowing our way through a pack of tissues by the time Bill had to subtly say goodbye to Susan. He may not explicitly have told her what was happening, but she definitely knew that something was up. Bill and Susan shared such a special bond that it was so emotional for us to process what was bound to happen. The two shared such a sweet father and daughter dance, with Bill giving words of assurance to Susan. It was an intimate moment that did not need many words. The two characters’ eyes and actions said it all. Bill may have gone too soon, but his departure brought forth a new beginning for Susan and the man she met at the coffee shop, who suddenly appeared uninjured and bewildered after Joe and Bill crossed over to the other side.