Monday, December 23, 2013

12 Days of Christmas Films: It's a Wonderful Life {11}

I don't really know where to begin when it comes to writing about one of the most beloved Christmas movies ever. Of course, I'm talking about It's a Wonderful Life. :)

For most people, this is the Christmas film, whether you're a classic movie fan or not. And I get that. (It's not my number one favorite, but more on that tomorrow...) It's a Wonderful Life is timeless and touching and funny and so nostalgic. I guess I'll just dive into my rambling thoughts.

When I saw this movie for the first time, I was really surprised at how it was set up. I knew that it was about a man who got the chance to see what the world would have been like if he had never been born. But I didn't realize that his backstory would take up so much of the actual film. I don't mind that at all, though. The story of his life, though it had some sad moments, is a lot more uplifting and positive than the story of his non-existence!

I love the actor who plays young George Bailey...he's just so awesome. And I love the scene where young Mary leans over to his bad ear and says, "George Bailey, I'll love you 'til the day I die." That is so stinking adorable, and it's even better that she means it. :)

Speaking of George Bailey, he's not always the most likable character! Jimmy Stewart is brilliant, as usual. But George drives me crazy when he's all "I want to travel the world and do something important" and talking about how he wants to "shake the dust of this crummy little town off my feet." I'm definitely a homebody and small-town girl. I get the whole wanting to travel and see new places thing, but I don't find George very likable when he's bashing Bedford Falls. He's also downright unlikable when he goes to Mary's house after his brother's wedding. It's like she comes back from college feeling hopeful about him and their relationship, and it's bad timing because that's when George is at his most cynical.

I don't mean to criticize George so much, though. He learns his lesson, after all. And I do feel bad for him always having to give his money and opportunities to other people.

Mary is so sweet, though. I love how she always seems to make the best out of everything and every situation. And it's so cute how she's obviously smitten with George long before he realizes he loves her, too. (By the way, I had never noticed before how grumpy and frowned-up her mom is at the wedding. Ha. :)

The supporting cast is great, though it's full of so many familiar faces that I won't really get into that. I always like seeing Sheldon Leonard as Nick the bartender. He pops up in the most random small roles! (Don't get me started on how underrated he is. Not only did he have supporting roles in lots of films, but he was also a producer and sometimes director for two of my favorite TV shows: The Andy Griffith Show and The Dick Van Dyke Show. He was also married to the same lady for over 60 years, which doesn't really have anything to do with his talent, but it's so rare in Hollywood that it makes me respect him that much more.) Also, another random bit part: Adriana Caselotti, famously known as the voice for Disney's Snow White, is the singer in the Martini's Bar scene.

My favorite scene? I love the entire part from the Charleston dance contest to when George has to leave Mary because his father had a stroke. First of all, I love to watch people dance the Charleston because it looks like they're having so much fun (and I adore the music). Then there's the fact that Alfalfa is the guy who makes the floor open into the pool. And how George and Mary obliviously dance backwards into the pool. And the whole "lasso the moon" speech. *swoon*

But of course I love the end. Because (spoiler) I do love happy endings, when all is well with the world and certain stubborn people have learned their lessons. No matter how cheesy or sentimental. :) And just like with White Christmas, the last scene always makes me a bit teary-eyed.

I feel like this is the most inadequate review of It's a Wonderful Life ever...oh, well. :)

Do you love It's a Wonderful Life, too?

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE this film. So iconic! It's one of those special movies that just gets better each year. =] And I had no idea that "Snow White" was in this film! How cool!


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