Forty-something years ago, then-film-critic Manny Farber wrote an essay called ‘The Decline of the Actor”, in which he bemoaned the rise of a certain kind of screen star, one whose presence had been designed not to approximate that of an actual human, but instead something akin to ”a Macy’s Thanksgiving balloon, a gaudy exhibitionist fact.”

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt belong to a very small pocket of contemporary stars who have turned such histrionics into an art form, and Mr. And Mrs. Smith both exploits and thrives on Pitt and Jolie’s larger-than-life dominance over the frame. As an exercise not only in style but in stylishness, it asks for very little from its stars, other than that they show up and be in every way spectacular; it asks for next to nothing from its audience, other than that they give in to that spectacle - and maybe even admit that, in the context of the summer blockbuster, sometimes a little gaudy exhibitionism is more than enough.