Am I the only one who thinks It’s a Wonderful Life is a heartbreaking tragedy of the highest order? George Bailey spends his whole life dreaming of getting the hell out of Bedford Falls but sacrificing himself again and again and again for the sake of his friends and his family, even as he watches his dreams slip further and more irrevocably away every day. And at the end, in return for having given up everything he’s ever wanted, he gets a hatful of change!
I somehow managed to avoid seeing this movie until I was in grad school, when a professor assigned it for a class on story structure. By the end I was sobbing with despair in my apartment and, quite literally, throwing things at the television. The class on It’s a Wonderful Life came a few days later; after ten minutes I couldn’t take it anymore and left the room. I have been very careful ever since not to be anywhere near a television on which it’s being broadcast.