It's a Wonderful Life

Bomb Rating: 

Ask yourself this question very seriously: What does this Frank Capra movie teach us? Seriously. Think about it.

Here's the answer: The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. After all, doesn't Mr. Potter (Lionel Barrymore) get to keep the eight thousand dollars Uncle Billy (Thomas Mitchell) accidentally hands him? He sure does. Then at the end of the film, after Clarence (Henry Travers) has shown George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) what his life would have been like if he had never been born, all the people of the town come to his house and give them their money so he can pay off the debt. Basically, because Uncle Billy is a bone-headed moron, the people of the town have to hand George their life savings.

Another question worth asking is this: How bad is the world without George Bailey in it? The real answer is this: not that bad. Look at his wife, Mary (Donna Reed). She's an old maid, but she's also a librarian; secure job, hefty pension. Don't knock it. It sure beats having four kids, which is reason enough for any man to want to kill himself. And how many of these smarmy country towns like Bedford Falls have you been to? They're the kinds of places where men pass around petitions to make whittling an Olympic sport. The new Bedford Falls -- Pottersville -- looks pretty swank to me. One of the first things George sees are strip clubs. Strip clubs? In other words, clubs where men can go and pay money to see naked women. Hate to break it to all you saps, but get rid of the part about paying money, and that's a description of heaven.

Of course, one of the things that hits George really hard is the fact that his brother, Harry, is dead, because George wasn't around to save him. Unfortunately, that logic doesn't work because Harry never would have followed George to the ice to fall through in the first place. In the real world where George wasn't born, Harry grew up and founded Playboy. In that alternate universe, Harry's face found more bush than a South American jungle botanist. Now that's a wonderful life.

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