Wednesday, December 12, 2012

It's a Wonderful Life

Growing up, it was a tradition in our house to watch "It's a Wonderful Life" every year at least one time during the month of December.  As a kid, I liked the movie.  I liked the swimming pool scene and Clarence and the fact that the citizens of Bedford Falls all chip in to help George and they all live happily ever after.  But, as I've grown older, I like the film less and less. In fact, I don't think I've watched it all the way through in at least five years.  The last time I watched it, I wanted to pummel George's uncle for losing the money and I wanted to slap Mr. Potter for being an evil money grubber and knowingly withholding the dough to cause George and his family financial ruin.

For the most part, it's a very DARK film.  Look at this trailer, which makes it out to be some fun filled romantic romp with Christmas cheer.  It's no wonder that the film was poorly received when it was released.


And yes, death figures prominently in this Christmas classic.  George saves a lot of people from dying, he takes over the family business when his dad dies, and in the end, Clarence saves George from ending his own life. Dark!!!

So to save myself from sounding like a total grinch, the real take away message of this film is that we do impact all the people around us.  A lot of the time we don't even realize it or see our own value in the grand scheme of things.  We may think we're just some speck of sand in the giant sandbox of life.  But, truth be told, we are all important and when we're gone, someone is going to miss our wit or our baking abilities or our craftiness or whatever it is we do.

So, is this one of your favorite holiday classics?  If not, what is?  This year I'm leaning towards Elf.  


17 comments:

  1. Elf! Yes!

    I didn't watch It's a Wonderful Life until 2008 after someone recommended. It was okay but not something I HAVE to watch every year. This year, I know I'll watch Christmas with the Kranks again. Very funny movie.

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    1. I haven't seen Christmas with the Kranks, so maybe I'll add it to my holiday viewing list. Definitely need funny!

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  2. I actually love IAWL more every time I see it. Jimmy Stewart is so wonderful. The maddeningness of George's uncle & Mr Potter and Clarence himself are part of what make it so rewarding for me, somehow.

    However, I saw Bad Santa a few years ago, and I have to say I thought it was absolutely hilarious. Dark and foul, but hilarious.

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    1. Awww, Bad Santa. I saw that and laughed hysterically. For the life of me, I can't remember the plot, but I remember being rather shocked at how far they went. Hmmm. Might add that to my list before I hit the library today.

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  3. Great post, Pamela! I;ve missed you....
    We ALWAYS watched IAWL - and it made me cry way back then - stirred up feelings that were forced to be shut down, I think. Nowadays I don't watch it - predictable and boring! I have yet to see the movie Elf but this might be the year.
    I am eager to see the other ideas with which people respond. I want to see some new Christmas movies - oh wait, there was this one - I think it was a "made for TV" thing - maybe about 12 years ago -- can't remember who the actors were but it was called simply "Tree". Main character was an aging nun who had never left the convent -- a rather sensitive movie - unlike most MFTV things -- I wish I could see that again. I will have to research that one--

    "Tree"

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    1. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0115892/?ref_=fn_al_tt_3
      There's the link to it. It's called "The Christmas Tree" and it's from 1996. I don't watch TV, so I didn't see it. I'm a movie gal.
      There's another movie I like called "The Family Stone." It's all about family dysfunction, but it's pretty funny. And yes, there's some sad too.
      There is not one thing sad about Elf. It's a totally funny film about a human raised as one of Santa's Elves. Will Farrell is hilarious.

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    2. Wow! You beat me to it - I was going to apologize for not giving the correct title - and, yes, 1996 seems like 12 years ago....I just looked it up too!
      I have seen the Family Stone and i really liked that one - yes, there is sadness but there are all the dynamics of families - I might watch that again this weekend -
      Elf is on the agenda too! Meg likes that one A LOT - so she is promoting it for us to watch this year - works for me! She DID NOT like Family Stone but she is in denial about sadness....

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  4. We love The Family Stone funny the you all should mention it! It's become something of a tradition that we watch it in our family. For some reason we all agree the family in the movie is like ours, Very loud, loving, honest and ridiculous in a say it like it is kind of way. And i think there's a undercurrent of sadness in that movie that our family will forever feel every holiday since the kids that we identify with that makes it my current fav.

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  5. I must confess, I've never seen IAWL all the way through. One of these days I'll have to satisfy my curiosity. The three holiday movies I must watch every year are Christmas Vacation, Elf, and Love Actually.

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    1. Wow. I just assumed everyone has seen this because it seems it's always on tv. You've got to see it at least once. Forgot about Christmas Vacation. That's a good one.

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  6. I watch this every year. I also make sure I watch Scrooged, While You Were Sleeping and Muppet Xmas Carol.

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    1. I LOVE Scrooged! I totally forgot about that one.

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  7. I love IAWL *because* of its darkness. I don't care much for most "Christmas" movies because somehow they require just a bit more suspension of disbelief than I can manage at this time of year. All that good cheer, beautiful family crap that I've never experienced is too much for me so I avoid them as a rule.

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  8. I really like IAWL...and someone mentioned Bad Santa. That has got to be one of the funniest movies I've ever seen! I also love the original animated How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and the 1951 black and white Scrooge, starring Alastair Sim. I watch those every year...Oh! and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.. The Island of misfit toys...you gotta feel for those poor things!

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    1. We always watch the original Grinch and Rudolph, which is one of my favorites. "I want to be a dentist."

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Comments are welcome and appreciated!