one of the best ever. this is the first time the girls have seen it and it took three nights for them to finish it. an hour to get them hooked, another 30 minutes while we had the time and then finished it off on new year’s eve. zoe bawled her eyes out at the end and merritt followed suit (though i think it was more in solidarity than anything else).
when i was younger i think i glossed over most of the movie and really hung onto the life affirming aspects of the ending…everyone coming together and george loving his family and all that. as i get older i really appreciate the degree to which george’s life is suffering, sacrifice, and needless pain. he’s surrounded by idiots like his uncle. he’s constantly sacrificing his own life goals for those of others…or, more accurately – for the duty he feels to others to help.
of course all this is paid off in the end. his amazing wife rallies the troops and they lift him up when he’s down. he’s down in part because of them, sure, but that’s also just how life is. living the solo life is kind of empty, right?
i fell in love with an on screen character once (lauren bacall in to have and have not), but donna reed might be #2 here. she’s amazingly beautiful, but, more importantly, she so supportive and loving of george here. clarence is his angel, sure, but mary is his rock and the hero of the ending. she’s amazing.