60. The Bucket List (2007)

Kicking the bucket happily requires some serious mula

Directed by: Rob Reiner
Written by: Justin Zackham
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman and Sean Hayes

Someone told me to watch The Bucket List as an inspiring movie. Here are two life lessons that I have taken from the movie:

1. Being super rich will let you live life to the full. Because just before you die, you can cash it all in to doing everything you never got to do.

2. Being poor and smart will never get you anywhere.

Now these two lessons may not be what The Bucket List intended to teach its audience. But with unconvincing performances from Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, a cheesy plotline that takes advantage of every predictable and cliche metaphor you can possibly think of, and unexciting conflicts regarding special family bonding time, it’s not hard to see where I’m coming from.

Photographic evidence of all the awesome things you can see and do with MONEY!

The two lessons also basically cover the summary of the plot that I would usually include in the review, but to be more clear: Edward is a corporate millionare who is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Carter is a not-so-wealthy car mechanic who is also diagnosed with a terminal cancer. The two men share a hospital room, surprisingly develop a friendship and then go on this wild money-spending spree where they do everything they’ve always wanted to do. Of course, money can’t buy love and family reunions. That’s something the two men have to seek out for themselves. Then again, both men looked like they were having an equally spiritual moment overlooking the water in some fancy European restaurant.

While I understand that the film draws both its comical element and inspiring note from the aged characters who are so different from each other and yet experiencing the same near-death sadness, there is a complacency in the film’s execution as it relies too much on the star power of Nicholson and Freeman, and the intentionally tear-jerking story. There is a little clever switch of narrative voices towards the end of the film, but all in all, it’s one of the most uninspiring films I’ve seen – not simply because of the confusing messages that I read into the film, but also in relation to the quality of some films that manage to sign up big stars. Now excuse me while I open a savings account for my expensive bucket list.


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