We were at church last week and something came up about the movie, "It's a Wonderful Life". And in discussing the movie, our preacher asked us if we'd all seen it. Now, I myself had only watched it for the very first time a year ago. I believe I watched it after a friend of mine, who I happen to call "Miss Margaret", mentioned it on Facebook. And I thought, "Well if my friend, Miss Margaret, likes it, maybe I should watch it. So I did. And I sobbed at the end.
Jamey had been out somewhere and if I remember correctly, he came in the door just as the credits were rolling. He asked me why I was crying. And still sobbing, I could hardly choke out, "It's a Wonderful Life. Wonderful movie. (point to Jamey) Must. See. It." And Jamey rolled his eyes at me and said, "I will never watch that movie. My eighth grade teacher forced us to watch it and I refused to." I assume he must have slept through the classes it took to show the whole thing. Or drew or threw pencils into the ceiling tiles or made and shot spitballs or something. Anyway. . .
His statement almost made me cry even more. I mean, remember, the movie really put me over the edge. I practically begged him to watch it with me. But he refused. So fast forward back to present day. The preacher asks who hasn't seen it, and Jamey raises his hand. And she looks at him and says in a horrified voice, "You haven't watched it? Oh Jamey, you must see it. All of you whose hands are raised must see this movie." And of course Jamey looks over at me and I'm nodding my head so vigorously that it is probably in danger of popping off. Jamey just rolls his eyes again.
And then at the end of the service, the most exciting thing ever happened. My friend, Dawn, had come up and chatted with Teresa during the final song. And after the closing prayer, Dawn hopped up on stage and said, "Next week, we will be viewing 'It's a Wonderful Life'. We'll provide movie snacks and drinks." And I look over at Jamey who is definitely not super happy. And I just grin my biggest grin ever. Because I know what's coming.
So Saturday rolls around and Jamey has been a big grump all day. He hasn't slept well most of the week, we'd been up late the night before at a totally awesome ugly holiday sweater party, and I honestly thought he was going to bail on me. But I reminded him that our preacher would be decidedly unhappy about his absence if he stayed home. And he really likes and respects Teresa, and so he told me he knew he had to go.
We get there and true to their word, they have chicken nuggets, mini corn dogs, nachos, movie candy, sodas etc etc. I thought they'd have popcorn, but that was the one thing missing. Oh well. But we sit down and I can tell Jamey is still not happy and I start to wonder if he has a supply of pencils in his coat pockets, or some paper and a straw so that he can make spit balls. But the lights dim a little bit and then we start to watch. At first there's nothing from Jamey. But then after a while, I hear him chuckle at a funny part. And then, though I don't dare look over at him because I'm afraid I'll break the spell, I can tell. The movie is spinning its magic around my husband.
By the end of the movie, I am, of course, sobbing. And Jamey and my friend, Barb are each holding one of my hands, so I just let the tears roll down my face. I look over at Jamey and I say, "So?" And he looks back at me, and he says, "That. Was a fantastic movie. I have a lump in my throat." And I just beam at him. I knew he would love it. And although he had walked into church totally grouchy and irritated, now he takes my hand as we walk down the hall to get our little guy, and he looks at me again, and says, "I'm serious. That was probably one of, if not the best, movies I've ever seen. And just so you know, I'm totally not grouchy anymore." And I knew he wouldn't be. Because after watching a movie like that, you just can't be.
We talked about it all the way home. We talked about it after we put Joshua to bed. We both agreed we needed to own that movie. Coming from two people who only own three movies intended for people over the age of six? That's really saying something. We both also agreed that maybe it was better to be adults when we finally watched it. Because I don't know that I'd really appreciate its message as much if I were younger. It wouldn't have packed such a powerful punch for me.
I would love to launch into a complete review of the movie right here. Seriously. It's just so good. But, I don't want to ruin it for anyone who hasn't seen it. So I'll say this much about it. The movie is truly, in my humble opinion, the best movie ever made. Period. See, here's the thing. It's a complete package. There's romance. There's drama. There's suspense. There's community. There's a real message. And the message is so overwhelming that it stays with you long after you watch it. Really. I'm not kidding. If you've never watched it and have had reservations about it, I beg of you to change your mind. If we could wrap up the message and sell it as an implant into our hearts and live the message every day, we'd be a totally cool planet.
Truly - It's a Wonderful Life!