You know who loves It's a Wonderful Life? Every person who's ever had to write a list of the best Christmas movies of all time. Also, your mom. Your mom, my mom ... all the moms. Beyond that, I don't know a single person who cops to enjoying this movie, and, if nothing else, the box-office numbers from back when this freight train full of boring first pulled into the movie station kind of back that up. It raked in a mere $3.3 million, which probably seems like a lot in old-timey Jimmy Stewart money, but it wasn't enough to keep the film from registering a $525,000 loss for the studio that initially released it. Yes, it was nominated for a bunch of awards, but trophies don't make a movie fun to watch. Maybe It's a Wonderful Life was an action-packed thrill ride back in the 1940s, but it is dull as fuck by today's standards.
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Case in point: not a single explosion.
Oh, that's it, right? I'm being unfair by holding it up to the movie-making standards of today? Well, if you don't want me doing that, don't show this movie on an infinite loop for two solid weeks each year. That kind of heavy rotation should be reserved for shit that holds up. Again, I understand that watching this movie is a tradition of some sort, but it's only been that way since the '80s, and probably just because a lapsed copyright in 1974 meant showing it on television was way cheap for a while. Somehow, that cost-saving measure has since been rebranded as an annual tradition that happens purely out of love for this movie.
He doesn't even love this movie.
Does it inspire you? Is that what you find enjoyable about this film? Seriously, I'm asking, mom. Because I feel like there's a pretty strong argument against that too. The bare bones version of the plot is that George Bailey wants to commit suicide because his life has gone to hell on the money side of things. Sure, he's got a wife and three kids who love him, but they'll be fine -- that's precisely why God made insurance policies.
Money can't buy happiness, but it totally cures sadness.