In the years that followed, my affection for “It’s a Wonderful Life” has never waned, despite the film’s overexposure and sugar-sweet marketing, and the rolling eyes of friends and family.
Lots of people love this movie of course. But I’m convinced it’s for the wrong reasons. Because to me “It’s a Wonderful Life” is anything but a cheery holiday tale. Sitting in that dark public high school classroom, I shuddered as the projector whirred and George Bailey’s life unspooled.
Was this what adulthood promised?
“It’s a Wonderful Life” is a terrifying, asphyxiating story about growing up and relinquishing your dreams, of seeing your father driven to the grave before his time, of living among bitter, small-minded people. It is a story of being trapped, of compromising, of watching others move ahead and away, of becoming so filled with rage that you verbally abuse your children, their teacher and your oppressively perfect wife. It is also a nightmare account of an endless home renovation.
What a sad man.
Update: Looking for the picture, it turns out he is not alone, as evidenced here and here.
Update: I watched it today. I still cried.