Comedy keeps you from your own life adventure

Doug Hite

Courtesy Warner Bros.

Credit: Ron Soltys

The Bucket List

Starring Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman, Sean Hayes

Directed by Rob Reiner

Distributed by Warner Bros.

Rated PG-13 Runtime 97 min.

Stater rating (out of five): **

Rob Reiner has graced us with another simple movie. The characters are simple. The dialogue is simple. The plot is simple.

The major draw of this film tends to be its obviously sappy and family-friendly nature. Never is it edgy, never does it give any controversial social commentary and never does it really make the viewer reassess the world around them. But that’s not its purpose. The Bucket List is a film meant to make the viewers feel good about themselves for an hour and a half. Afterwards, it is easily forgettable.

The Bucket List has all the ingredients for a feel-good box office smash: two great leading actors, a seasoned director and a secondary character played by that one really flamboyant guy from “Will and Grace” — you know, the gay guy who’s not Will.

The plot is almost exactly as you might imagine it just from viewing the trailer: two old guys (Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman) are dying. For some reason or another, they make a list of things that they want to do before they die. Logically, they go and do them — for 90 percent of the movie. In the end, something sad happens. But it happens in a way that makes you feel good. The End.

I’m still milling over my final opinion of this piece. In its purest form, The Bucket List is predictable. It’s unoriginal. The writing is stilted and poorly thought out. But, dammit, it has Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman in it! How can this movie possibly be bad?

That’s just it. It’s not a bad movie. It’s a bad story. The players in this film and its director actually do a great job of squeezing the last little bit of life out of this nearly dead film. But is that enough to make this film worth our time?

Why not? While many of us may not be particularly thrilled with The Bucket List, we must keep in mind that this film is not directed at just one demographic. As movie viewers, we’ve grown particularly accustomed to expansive, big-budget productions full of explosions, special effects and one of the Wilson brothers. This film is not made for the younger demographic that feeds on the aforementioned qualities. This film was made for my mom . and maybe my grandparents . and everyone else who’s been forgotten by the majority of new movies.

While The Bucket List may not be loaded with CGI and other bells and whistles, it is by no means a bad movie. However, many who have grown accustomed to large productions — or maybe just a decent screenplay — may think otherwise. Others who just want a fun movie that will allow them to forget about the world around them for a while will be entranced for an hour and a half.

What’s on the all staff members’ bucket lists? link here

Contact all reporter Doug Hite at [email protected].