Think about it. It’s an angel story. Okay, so there might not be a hot angel stud in it, but Clarence is definitely not your typical angel. There is a character named Potter in it. And think about the firsts – first kiss, first love, first job, first save-your-brother-from-drowning, and first…well, you get the point.
Here are the ten reasons I love this movie from a writer’s point of view.
1. Opening prayers that make me care for George Bailey. Why is he in so much trouble? Why is everyone praying for him? I want to know!
2. Every single scene is important to the story. They deal with George, Mary, or Potter; and of course, don’t forget the Bailey Building and Loan – that crummy old building.
3. The scenes start late and end early. No fillers! I sit down to watch for five minutes and I end up watching the whole darn movie.
4. Every scene contributes to the main storyline but also has its own storyline. Almost every scene ends with a cliffhanger. For example, George leaves Mary in the bushes to go see his father who had a stroke.
5. Humor is added to each scene: George and Mary falling into the pool or Mary losing her robe.
6. A great debate is introduced in the beginning. Will George take over the Building and Loan or go and travel the world? He chooses to stay but always holds onto the dream of leaving.
7. George is an extremely likeable character. He’s not off to save the world. His goals are really quite selfish. But every decision he makes, putting himself last, comes at huge personal sacrifice. For example – his hearing, his college, his travels, his honeymoon.
8. Incredible secondary characters. Their stories and pivotal moments are revealed when they connect with George’s life.
9. Let’s not forget the mirror images of the first and third act. Every scene in the first act, the characters who are introduced, come into play in Act III.
10. George never reaches his goals. I mean how often does that happen? But that makes the ending so moving. He realizes he had a better life than the one he dreamed about. So primal. Sigh.
This movie is so different from JINGLE ALL THE WAY, but I love them both!
What’s your favorite scene in this movie, if you’ve seen it? If you haven’t, tell me, your favorite Christmas dessert!