Wednesday, January 9, 2008
The Bucket List
I have been seeing trailers for the new flick, The Bucket List, with Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson. While the story might be kinda sappy (Rottentomatoes.com gives it a 46% approval rating) most folks would pay to see two venerable actors in such a flick.
What struck me though, it the underlying message. Two older men upon being diagnosed with fast moving cancer decide to go out and do all those things they failed to do as young men. Important things. Meaningful acts. Something that will make a difference for humanity.
Something like skydiving.
Is it just me? Or does this seem ridiculously shallow and sadly sophomoric?
Am I just taking up space on the planet to accumulate as much pleasure and excitement as I can before I kick the bucket? Is there no other reason to my life? That kind of existentialism is pretty bleak--you might as well just end it all right now.
Actually, I believe there is a very good reason I am here. The Creator of the universe has a plan for me...He wants me to graduate from the University of Earthly Life with several classes in compassion, love, sacrifice and humility. I hope to get at least a passing grade, but I'm pretty sure my time at "school" will be wasted if I concentrate on what a lot of vapid, narcissistic college students tend towards (I know, I was one of them).
What has this got to do with a dumb movie? Movies are made to make money. If you write a screenplay about a subject most people are going to agree with, chances are you will do pretty good. So, most often movies mirror society rather than guide it. The writers and producers must have thought Americans are shallow and childish -- maybe they're right.
The good news is that even with two great actors, the movie isn't much of a hit. It opened with gross receipts of only $161,000.
The big hit of the holiday was "National Treasure: Book of Secrets" grossing $65 million. A fun family movie with (shock) a patriotic theme.