Tuesday, January 15, 2008

"The Bucket List"

OK. I'll admit I have my guilty pleasures. These are films I see not because they are great art or original storytelling but because they make me feel good. "The Bucket List," falls into this category. It's a feel good movie with some laughs. You can pretty much figure out the whole story from the trailer - yet you still want to be in that world. Jack Nicholson plays a gruff businessman who is treated for cancer. He eventually connects with his trivia spouting, family-man roommate (Morgan Freeman) because of their shared condition. When they discover that they both have less than a year to live, they make a list of things they would like to do before they "kick the bucket" and go out and do them.

The problem I have with the script is that everything comes so easily to them. First, they have unlimited financial resources to travel the world because one of them is rich. I could live with this contrivance if the filmmaker used that screen time to develop the relationship of the two characters. But their relationship comes easily too. There are no real obstacles to overcome that would allow them to fully bond. But luckily, Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman give such lived-in performances that we feel like we know them. While gazing at the pyramids, they touch on universal themes such as the importance of faith and share some regrets. They challenge each other to discover the true joy in life. It is certainly a joy to watch Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freedman at the top of their game (and the top of the world!) If this movie inspires you to find the joy in life or contemplate it's meaning, I'd say that was worth the price of admission.
Movie Blessings!
Jana Segal

www.reelinspiration.blogspot.com "The Bucket List" provides much-needed education on living and dying for American society. --Janet Grace Riehl, (www.riehlife.com)

Loved The Bucket List, by the way. Dave and I are making our own Bucket List now! Woo hoo! Reel Member, Tammy Swanson


Janet Grace Riehl said...

I love the tagline:”When he closed his eyes, his heart was opened” which we hear in Morgan Freeman’s voice-over at the beginning as the camera pans over the magestic Himalayas…before dropping us down into a car repair shop. These two visual journeys define the tone of the movie: the transcendent and ordinary nature of life, revealed.

Friendship reaches across class and race in the bond of impending death. Can a be-zillion dollars buy happiness? No, but the money can open a world (and provide the viewer with a great travelogue fantasy). Within that open world of possibility, heart education happens.

Janet Grace Riehl
excerpt from "Reel Life" category

Anonymous said...

I cannot improve over Jana's review. I thought a book on this story would allow for the relationship to be developed more and the need for conciseness in a movie explained the shortcuts . In any case, I think the story came across very clear and the meaning of finding the joy over completing a "bucket list" was well done. Great actors can over come a movies need to do it all in 90 minutes or so and they did.