Admit It: It's A Not-So-Wonderful Life

I don't much care for films that celebrate "small-town values." I always feel judged, even personally attacked, by these movies. Full Story
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TenderHeart

Studio City, CA

#1 Dec 23, 2007
Yes, Yes, Yes! I would highly recommend this movie... Hollywood does not make movies like "It's A Wonderful Life" anymore....

This movie stirs up hope in people.... This is my all time favorite and I never tire of watching it....
Catherine Slaton

Los Angeles, CA

#2 Dec 23, 2007
Somewhat interesting, but myopic review. Each person is on a different journey. This was George Bailey's journey. Had he left Bedford Falls, we would have had an entirely different story. It doesn't mean one person is selfish and the other is not. George was obviously drawn to, although conflicted by his choice. We make choices every day that sometimes play out well, sometimes not so well. Bailey could have very well left Bedford Falls to travel afar, been stricken by a deadly disease or run over on his way to the train station. Or he could have gone on to cure cancer. So many stories to tell. It's all about making choices and not knowing what will happen, but living with those choices.
Catherine Slaton

Los Angeles, CA

#3 Dec 23, 2007
Seattle, Washington - not L.A.
Julia

United States

#4 Dec 23, 2007
Oh shush. thsi is great movie and I saw it two nights ago at an auditorium. There were hundreds of people who gathered to watch it on screen. Most of us knew Frank Capra personally. Goodnes gracious, it's a Wonderful Life wouldn't be so succesful if it weren't a great movie. something is wrong with your head whoever wrote this nonsense article
Jay

Dover, NH

#6 Dec 23, 2007
It's a movie. Taking it personally simply shows a lack of reality ground and a severe case of narcissism.
Mr Common Sense

Fort Worth, TX

#7 Dec 23, 2007
Next time you start bashing a movie, try to get it right. Jenny left town to go to college. When she got kicked out of college she moved on. As Gump was in Vietnam at the time it had nothing to do with him.
Maroon

Meriden, CT

#8 Dec 23, 2007
Julia wrote:
Oh shush. thsi is great movie and I saw it two nights ago at an auditorium. There were hundreds of people who gathered to watch it on screen. Most of us knew Frank Capra personally. Goodnes gracious, it's a Wonderful Life wouldn't be so succesful if it weren't a great movie. something is wrong with your head whoever wrote this nonsense article
Yikes! Chill woman! Just because someone doesn't share your point of view doesn't mean that there is something wrong with their head.
Cedric

West Hartford, CT

#9 Dec 23, 2007
My personal take on this movie was that one could make a difference in life by making choices that took into account the effect those choices had on those around them. Some times that meant leaving home to accomplish as much as possible, and other times it might mean staying home to help those who needed your help such as George's family and friends. It seems that the author of this article did not get the same message. Perhaps she suffers some guilt over having abandoned someone in her past? If so, I hope she is able to forgive herself and move on. In any case, Happy Holidays to everyone! It can be a wonderful, if all too short life. Choices, and luck all play a part in it. I personally believe in karma, and this movie promotes that idea.
eva

Springfield, OR

#10 Dec 23, 2007
I was actually kind of shocked the first time I saw this movie. I was in my 30s, working hard in New York, also trying to pursue a dream to be an artist. So the movie hit home for me. I was a little horrified and felt sad for George Bailey. Because when he sweeps away his dreams and those architectural models - that is a very painful moment.

Just because he was a parent and working at a savings and loan, doesn't mean he did not have personal dreams.

I think it's a little harsh to say that the writer "took it personally" or was a narcissist... because we all see ourselves in a movie. If you are a parent, then you might see yourself in It's a Wonderful Life. But if you are a frustrated, struggling artist - you might see yourself there too! Nothing wrong with it! Just a different view! If you are not seeing the pain George feels when he sweeps away those architectural models, then you are messing a key ingredient in this film. It is this which leads him to the bridge to contemplate suicide. I wouldn't call that a light and breezy family movie.

Since: Jul 07

Kansas

#11 Dec 23, 2007
I always feel judged, even personally attacked, by these movies..

Geesh, grow some balls and quit whining. What a bunch of pansies people are becoming these days. It's a fricking movie that has nothing to do with you. Get over it.
Oregon Cowboy

United States

#12 Dec 23, 2007
I thoroughly enjoyed Annie's article.
As for myself, I am a hometown boy that also chose to live in my hometown as did George.
George constantly chose to my peoples lives better, rather it was his family, friends or just plain ole folks in Bedford Falls.
I don't think George had a life at the expense of his happiness as much as he had happiness at the expense of his dreams.
It is often the means that we fail to understand, but when hindsight kicks in, the ends is all that really matters.
When you look at our insignificance in this universe, like stars in the open night sky, I believe it is only people that changes that insignificance into significance.
"To the world, you may be just one person,
but to one person, you may be the whole world"
I think that is what George Bailey is all about. He saw the value of his personal relationships and that is what over-wrote his dreams of being the world explorer.
I agree with ole George, and in principal, Capra.
It is a wonderful life when we seek to relate to people.
Thanks for that humorous insight Annie!
CT Yankee

New Haven, CT

#13 Dec 23, 2007
It's a Wonderful Life was a terrific movie - celebrating family and friendship - and helping us to appreciate the things we have in our lives and the contributions that we do not realize that we make to others.
The author of this piece obviously missed those points all together because she is all wrapped up in her own perceived misery. Her parents ought to have been glad this whiner left home. Perhaps she would be much happier with a positive attitude about her past and all of the things a simple life can and does offer most people. You want to see the world - bravo - Paris can be just as crummy as Podunk if it is just the crumbs that you see.
Chicklet

New Fairfield, CT

#14 Dec 24, 2007
"Forrest Gump" should have been titled "Chicken Soup for Bland, Ignorant, Narrow-Minded Middle Americans Whose Brains Can't Deal With Anything Deeper Than a Greeting Card."
Mary H

Willimantic, CT

#15 Dec 24, 2007
The point of these two movies is that ordinary, good, unselfish people leave the world a better place than it would have been without them. This is an altruistic view that collides with the egocentric world view of Korzen. who seems to think life is all about her personal happiness.

Why on earth would anyone feel threatened and personally attacked by this kind of message? Get a grip - not everything is about you. Maybe you feel attacked because you realize how selfish and self-centered you really are.

There are those who contribute to the world through incredible achievements, and there are many more who contribute by living responsible, generous lives. Both are needed. But I'm not sure that having a dream of hanging out in Harry's Bar thinking vaguely about creating "something the world would admire" contributes anything at all.
Anthony

Hammonton, NJ

#16 Dec 24, 2007
I think you missed the point... No one's denying that George would have had wonderful experiences outside of Bedford Falls. Rather, it's reaffirming us that the mere fact that George DIDN'T leave Bedford Falls didn't diminish his greatness. We can be great at a local level. Some of us find ourselves in situations not of our making, and we feel compelled to make sacrifices. George's life was a life of such sacrifices, just as we all must sacrifice in order to do what we believe is right. He had an entire town's well-being on his shoulders, and he knew it, despite their lack of appreciation (until the very end).

The point is: This movie says nothing about big-city vs. small-town values. There are plenty of movies where the situation is reversed: Someone wants to live the simple family life (wife, children, comfort, love) but feels compelled to work at a more global level. Rather, it's a movie about success: George had a will to be great, and no amount of circumstance or situation could stop him from being great.
Mary H

Willimantic, CT

#17 Dec 24, 2007
Anthony wrote:
I think you missed the point... No one's denying that George would have had wonderful experiences outside of Bedford Falls. Rather, it's reaffirming us that the mere fact that George DIDN'T leave Bedford Falls didn't diminish his greatness. We can be great at a local level. Some of us find ourselves in situations not of our making, and we feel compelled to make sacrifices. George's life was a life of such sacrifices, just as we all must sacrifice in order to do what we believe is right. He had an entire town's well-being on his shoulders, and he knew it, despite their lack of appreciation (until the very end).
The point is: This movie says nothing about big-city vs. small-town values. There are plenty of movies where the situation is reversed: Someone wants to live the simple family life (wife, children, comfort, love) but feels compelled to work at a more global level. Rather, it's a movie about success: George had a will to be great, and no amount of circumstance or situation could stop him from being great.
Well said - greatness is in the heart.
an observer

Colchester, CT

#18 Dec 24, 2007
This article generated the most thoughtful responses of any opinion article I've seen.
zonker

United States

#19 Dec 24, 2007
The movie was a flop when it was released. It took years to catch on with the public.

It's a pretty sappy movie.
Al Hicks

Sacramento, CA

#20 Dec 24, 2007
You missed the point. George ended up the happiest mans on earth. He didn't have to go to the ends of the earth to find happiness.
Old Skool

Avon, CT

#21 Dec 24, 2007
The country was different when this movie was made. Values especially. I wouldn't expect many of today's 'It's all about me, f**k everyone else' people to find anything meaningful within this film.

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