July 30th, 2008

The Bucket List

Last night Brent and I watched The Bucket List. It was better than I expected it to be, mostly because Morgan Freeman is just amazing. Jack Nicholson’s character reminded me a little of my Uncle Rick (my dad’s best friend from so far back that he can’t remember how long he knew him and my brother’s godfather) who died a year or so ago.

What I particularly liked about the movie was that Morgan Freeman’s character made tough choices. Every hour he chose to pursue the bucket list was an hour he chose to be away from his family. He went and did what he wanted to do in spite of the guilt. The movie takes the position that he chose well, that his time away enriched the time he spent with his family when he returned. I found that hopeful, if not entirely realistic.

In some ways, this movie was the antidote to It’s A Wonderful Life, a movie I detest, in spite of Jimmy Stewart. The bucket takes the all-or-nothing view of life and tips it over, reminding us that there are lots of turning points, lots of choices, that there is not just one alternative future ahead of us. Clarence doesn’t show what would have happened had George gone to Europe, just what would have happened if George had never existed at all.

My bucket list? I don’t have one. I just hope to live each day well.