The Bucket List


Directed by: Rob Reiner
Written by:Justin Zackham
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman, Sean Hayes, Rob Morrow, Rowena King
Released: February 21, 2008
Grade: C+

Two guys find out they only have a few months to live.  They’d never met before but became friends after sharing the same room at the hospital.  Between them, they put together a “bucket list” – a list of things they want to do before they kick the bucket.  With a new lease on life, they begin their quest to tick as many things off the list as possible.

That pretty much sums up The Bucket List.  It may sound like a sad film but The Bucket List is better described as a feel good movie.  Once these guys come to the realisation that there isn’t long left in their lives, they use their time wisely.  Each passing day seems to have more and more value.  They do some fun, crazy things together.  There’s plenty of food for thought and I’m sure it’ll have many thinking about what they’d do in the same situation.

Given that the film will reduce most audience members to tears, I feel a little guilty in heavily criticising it.  I liked the film’s spirit but I hated the farcical storyline.  At times, it felt like I was watching a cheesy American sitcom where all the characters are phony and the situations they find themselves in are ludicrous.

To provide a little more background information, Carter (Freeman) is a mechanic who has worked hard for 45 years.  For as long as he has been married, he’s put his wife and kids first.  There are a lot of things he’d like to have done but never really got around to it.  Edward (Nicholson) is a multi-millionaire who has a lot of investments.  He has the reputation for being a hard-nosed businessman and doesn’t seem to have many true friends.  He never married and lives alone.  As you can tell, these guys are an odd couple.  They’d never have been friends outside of these circumstances.

Cater and Edward go on a trip around the world and see places like the Great Pyramids in Egypt and the Great Wall of China.  They fly in Edward’s private plane and are accompanied by an assistant (Hayes) who organises everything for them.  I guess if you’re going to go out in style, it helps to have plenty of money.  This is another reason why I think this story is too hard to believe.  Couldn’t these characters have been a little more realistic?  Maybe I’m being too picky.

Seeing The Bucket List again is not something I’ll be putting on my own bucket list.  Life’s just too short.