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Photo from IFC Center

*Spoilers for It’s a Wonderful Life*

It’s a Wonderful Life follows George Bailey (James Stewart) as a struggling businessman who contemplates suicide before an angel named Clarence comes down and shows George what life would be like if he were to never exist.

I have actually never seen It’s a Wonderful Life before though I was aware of the plot. I know for many this is an essential Christmas movie. And it is a certainly enjoyable Christmas film.

I do however feel bad for George Bailey, he is stuck in his hometown in a job he doesn’t want. He never gets to chase after his dreams because of responsibilities thrust upon him from his family. Though you always root for George since he is the underdog, he is a small businessman fighting against the wealthy Mr. Potter, who is trying to rip off and buy the town of Bedford Falls. His wife, Mary (Donna Reed), is an utterly faithful wife, but is mostly a passive character whose life doesn’t exist outside her husband.

Though this film is rightfully a classic, it still has a message of those times. It tells the audience to settle and conform, to not chase after their dreams. George Bailey never got to live the life he wanted and that’s a shame. Though it’s nice to know that he is happy now knowing how loved he is by everybody.

I may not be the biggest fan of the message of the film, but overall It’s a Wonderful Life is just a feel good movie. I think we all want to have the same feeling of love and gratitude that George Bailey has once he returns to the Bedford Falls that he exists in.

I give It’s a Wonderful Life a B.

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