Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Bucket List

Here's my second assignment for my online Magazine Writing Class. This time, we were supposed to review a movie, book, live performance. I chose to review The Bucket List.....here it goes...

The Bucket List

It is a rare moment when I hear the phrase, "Life is Short," and truly take it to heart. As a 26 year old, runner who believes that the world is in fact her oyster, I tend to think that I've got lots of years left before I have to start thinking about that which is ultimately inevitable; death.

Yes, I said it, the D word. And it's funny because I'm going to go out on a limb and say that until the day that I am hit with whatever it is that will cause the end of me, I am pretty sure I will go on living just as though I have years and years left and nothing at all to worry about.

Once in a great while though, there are moments when something I see or hear hits me---and for a moment, I realize, this thing called life is not forever. Watching the Rob Reiner Film, the Bucket List (2007) created one of those moments for me. When two men are given just 6 months to a year to live, the phrase "Life is Short" becomes impossible to ignore.

Edward Cole (Jack Nicholson) is your classic multi-million dollar making bachelor who has all the physical traits of a senior citizen with his gray, thinning hair but who has the spirit of a rambunctious, couldn't give a hoot 26 year old. His "only successful marriage" is his marriage to his career, he has an estranged relationship with his only daughter and about the only other person who can tolerate his ornery, high maintenance persona is his PAID personal assistant.

Carter Chambers (Morgan Freeman) on the other hand has aged into a distinguished elderly man. He spent a good chunk of his life as a car mechanic but always dreamed of being a history or philosophy professor. Ultimately it is Carter's philosophical musings that set this crazy pair in motion.

Worlds collide when these two men are brought together in the same hospital room. Cole, not being one for social niceties grumbles out loud about his boring and already dead roommate, while Chambers chooses to stick his nose in a book, ignoring his roommate's absurd behaviors. Bonded by the struggles of cancer, an unlikely relationship begins to grow, and when doctors give the men news that they may only have 6 months to a year to live, they make a touching decision together to really start living.

This is one of those films that left me laughing, crying and in the end, taking a break from my, "I am invincible" mentality to contemplate the fragility of life. In working to cross off the items on their "Bucket List," these two men remind me that it is never too early OR too late to "Find the Joy in our Lives."

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