Monday, August 03, 2009

Dead Like Me: Grade D

Dead Like Me (2009)
Ellen Muth, Britt McKillip; Director Stephen Herek.

This is a direct to DVD movie based on a TV series (of which I was unaware) that ran in 2003-2004. A group of four “grim reapers” are dead people who are assigned the task of reaping souls at the moment of death. They mingle among the living, disguising their calling but seem otherwise normal. (One assumes there is actually a much larger contingent of reapers to handle the tens of millions who die every day.) In this tale, the reapers start slacking their duties and enjoying their immortal “life,” with the consequence that one reaper (Muth) misses a reap and a young high school football hero goes into a coma instead of dying. It turns out that his girlfriend is none other than the reaper’s sister, who is still mourning her sister’s death. So the reaper now has a conflict of interest. Does she reap the soul of the young man as she is supposed to or let him live for her sister’s sake?

The movie does not make much sense conceptually but you have to go with the flow. And, you have to believe in “life after death,” which is a contradiction in terms, because as far as we know, there is only death after death. There is a heavy presumption of spiritualism and you must also buy the concept of ghosts. Beyond all the nonsense however, the story does address important themes of grieving the death of a loved one, and on teenagers first becoming aware of their mortality. The script is pedestrian, although with some moments of good humor. It is well directed, but not well acted. Worth seeing if you are between 8 and 15.

No comments:

Post a Comment