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Jun 21, 2021
I believe John Lennon said, "Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans". That is the message one takes away from watching this animation. The title is a play on words. The hero, Joe Gardner (voiced by Jamie Foxx), spends most of the movie as a "soul" (and he's a "soul brother") who is trying to get his body back after apparently dying. This movie is similar to the Albert Brooks movie, "Real Life" in that both protagonists try to justify their lives. While "bodiless", he mentors a "pre-life" soul, only referred to as "22" (voiced by Tina Fey) who has failed to be ready for Earth for hundreds of years by being jaded and repelled by human trappings and provides most of the existential philosophy while down on earth which somehow ends up inspiring others. I could go on but you get the idea and the venue is a little heavy for anybody younger than 12. Also it is a bit hazy as to what it's trying to be. Is it a slice of life? Not really. A vehicle for a jazz score? No (and definitely not a musical). A microcosm of black culture? Not enough to call it that. The characters and settings for the "after life" is certainly surrealistic and etherial but it's too cartoonish to qualify as such. They also had to pull a fast one to give all the protagonists a happy ending (except maybe for the cat).