Idol Chatter

The Holidays are over, but there’s still time to see one of the better holiday movies. And, it’s actually more relevant now (at the start of the new year) than it was over the holidays.
The plot of “The Bucket List” doesn’t sound all that inspirational: two guys from different sides of the tracks end up in the same hospital room after discovering they probably have terminal cancer. They endure chemotherapy treatments together, waiting for test results together, getting sick together, dealing with interested family and employees together, and the stages of response as they both find out they have terminal conditions. It sounds like a groaner, but it’s actually as inspiring as it is heart-warming
What makes this movie inspiring isn’t just that they make a list of the things they want to do before they die and actually go about doing them: it’s the honest portrayal of the reality of death and—worse—the reality of what it’s like to live with the trauma and pain that accompanies the certainty of impending doom.

“The Bucket List” features Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman at their best, as both break from their typical molds in roles that move beyond typecast. Jack succeeds at bringing us Edward Cole, who actually becomes vulnerable and out of control, as well as needy and interdependent. Freeman’s everyman friendliness is jettisoned for much of the movie as he brings us Carter Chambers, who is understandably frustrated, angry, bitter and withdrawn at the news of his terminal condition. Rob Reiner’s direction is another example of how his movies are literal and true, not flinching at life’s most precious moments. And Beverly Todd (as Virginia Chambers) is brilliant in a supporting role as Carter’s committed but angry wife during a nuanced and complicated time.
Anyone who’s ever walked through this season of life with family and close friends will find a warm embrace from a film that embraces your pain. Anyone who hasn’t gone through it yet will be better prepared. Even better, though, is a big-screen invitation to write down the things you want to do before your run is done…and do them!!!
Before you make you New Year’s Resolutions, go see “The Bucket List.” And if you’ve already made ‘em, go see this anyway, and I’ll bet you’ll change ‘em to something far more challenging. And inspiring!

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