plays Drew, the ambitious young lead of the film. His fiancee
is Susan Parrish (Claire Forlani), the daughter of his boss
(played by Anthony Hopkins). Unfortunately, evil Death in
the form of Joe Black (Brad Pitt) arrives and ruins Drew's
I lied; that's actually not the real theme of the film. Drew
is actually the bad guy, who plans on taking over Hopkins' business.
Death/Joe Black saves the day and seduces Claire in the process.
Big surprise! Most critics found the film pretty dull, but Jake's
performance as Drew was almost enough to liven things up, as
you'll see from reviews below:
November 9, 1998 - November 15, 1998 by Todd McCarthy
starts quietly and eventually commands singular attention as
Parrish's treacherous would-be successor and son-in-law, while
Harden and Tambor more gently score in lightly comic support."
Star, November 13, 1998
is also fighting the strange tingling feeling he gets - and
it's not heartburn from the peanut butter - whenever he's around
Susan, who obviously has a problem with relationships. She begins
making eyes at yokel Joe while she's still engaged to daddy's
scheming business protege, Drew (Jake Weber), who is
actually a whole lot more fun than Joe. At least he has a pulse."
News Service, November 12, 1998 by Gary Schwan
best turns come from the supporting cast, especially Jake
Weber (" Dangerous Beauty") as a Judas of a right-hand man.
He's a marvelous mixture of droll deviltry, and his blank stares
at the exasperating Joe Black are amusing."
News Service, November 12, 1998 by Steve Murray
mixture of "Star Trek's" Mr. Spock and Chauncey Gardner of "Being
There," Black falls for Bill's daughter Susan (Clair Forlani).
Like Meg Ryan in "City of Angels," Forlani plays a doctor. Her
attraction to Pitt is as hard to buy as Ryan's for dopey angel
Nicolas Cage: These men are studly but off-kilter weirdos who
act like children and delight in new sensation...The film spends
unholy amounts of time on the skulduggery of Bill's right-hand
man, Drew (played snakily well by Jake Weber) . He plots
a merger of Parrish Communications with another media giant,
meaning that Bill will lose control of his own company."
San Diego Union-Tribune, November 12, 1998 by David Elliott
if fusing the roles of John Ehrlichman, Bob Haldeman and John
Dean, Jake Weber plays Bill's No. 2 man in the conglomerate,
Drew, as the oiliest of snakes. Genuine power, with the prospect
of more to inherit, does not deflect Drew from being a smug,
vile wretch, while always looking great in $700 suits."
The Detroit News November 13, 1998, by By Susan Stark
... credible way despite the grandiosity of the film maker.
Others who, in smaller roles, do well are Jeffrey Tambor and
Jake Weber, respectively Hopkins' thick but decent son-in-law
and conniving second-in-command, and Marcia Gay Harden, the
Kansas City Star, November 13, 1998 by Robert W. Butler
... Marcia Gay Harden and Jeffrey Tambor as William's neurotic
daughter and sweet but doltish son-in-law. Jake Weber
is effectively oily as William's duplicitous protege and - until
Joe Black's arrival - Susan's main squeeze."
Tribune, November 13, 1998 by Michael Wilmington
The rest of the six-person core cast are all on the money. Forlani,
looking a bit like a baby Kristin Scott-Thomas, has a moving
china-doll firmness and fragility. Weber's Drew is dead-on
despicable, a discredit to his class."
(Issue #7), by Gary Johnson
The movie's most compelling component is the confrontation
between Bill Parrish and his company's board of directors....In
part, this confrontation becomes engaging because of the outstanding
supporting performance by Jake Weber.
Bill's future son-in-law, Drew (Weber) spearheads the attempt
to overtake Parrish Publishing. Bill's impending death fills
this conflict with urgency. Whereas in most circumstances
the business/publishing plot would sound a bit mundane, the
presence of Death--who seldom ventures far away from Bill--constantly
reminds us that Bill is working on borrowed time.
actors in Weber's shoes would have been chewing the scenery;
however, Weber underplays the character. We sense the impatience
and impertinence that Drew keeps masked behind his gracious
manners, but Weber resists the temptation to push the character
to comic book excess (think of Gary Oldman in about any role)--and
that means his character remains all the more human, and all
the more credible.
Weber is so good he nearly steals this movie away from Hopkins
and Pitt, and that's no small task. While Hopkins and Weber
vie for control of the company, Bill's daughter begins to
fall in love with Joe Black.... Their romance pales in comparison
to Bill Parrish's confrontations with Drew."
Chronicle, January 13, 1999
daughter Susan (Claire Forlani) is a doctor, and romantically
involved with her father's closest associate, Drew (Jake Weber)
. The two men are working on a deal that will allow Parrish's
company to be taken over by a bigger company. . . .Jake Weber
also deserves credit for making the most of the limited part
of Drew, whom he plays for laughs, lightening up the film
no end when he's around, which isn't enough."