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‘Bucket List’ all about money, not just having ‘harmless’ fun

‘Bucket List’ all about money, not just having ‘harmless’ fun

God may not be able to save us from terminal illness, but will someone up there please issue a deifi
‘Bucket List’ all about money, not just having ‘harmless’ fun
Jack Nicholson as Edward and Morgan Freeman as Carter are shown in a scene from &quot;The Bucket List.&quot;

God may not be able to save us from terminal illness, but will someone up there please issue a deific injunction against glib, terminal illness movies such as “The Bucket List.”

Rob Reiner’s cloyingly friendly comedy stars Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman as two guys about to kick the bucket. But before they enter the celestial kingdom, they make friends and check off their bucket list of earthly dreams. Before the termination, they get to sky dive, NASCAR-race and get pricked by a tattoo artist. Gosh-darn, you want to pinch their jowly cheeks and say hallelujah to the god of unflagging optimism. Gosh-darn, you want to go right out and buy a Hallmark card.

Once more, Reiner defines himself as the schlock artist who knows, as do his stars, that coots with familiar faces can walk through this garden of schmaltz with their eyes closed. With every scene, you can hear the sound of money, Ka-Chunk, Ka-Chunk, spin into a retirement account bearing the names Freeman and Nicholson.

Bucket List

Stars (out of 4): 3.2

Rating: PG-13

DIRECTED BY Rob Reiner
SCREENPLAY BY Justin Zachman
STARRING Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman, Sean Hayes, Beverly Todd and Rob Morrow

Movie Website

Movie Trailer

And who can blame them? They’ve worked hard enough, earned enough of our adulation to take a detour onto Hallmark Lane. I just hope they donate some of their profits to a charity of their choice, because you can be gosh-darned sure they knew what they were doing. You can almost hear them saying, “Aw, what the hell,” before they put the pen to their eight-figure contract.

You’d like to think that on that list you would not have embarrassing wishes like, “Witness something majestic” or “Kiss the most beautiful girl in the world.” You’d think that Reiner and his screenwriter, Justin Zachman, would find a way to avoid cliché-ridden dialogue and dependence on our love for Freeman and Nicholson. And if Nicholson sneers one more time. One more time. Why, I oughta . . .

If you are up for this sort of thing, cozying up with Jack and Morgan and feeling like one of the guys flying around in a private jet after Jack’s Edward Cole has the misfortune of meeting and then befriending an unwelcome roommate, well go for it as they fly into the friendly skies, race in the pits, and soar onward into the wild blue yonder. I find nothing inspiring or harmless about the whole ka-chunky endeavor. Funny how a movie that tries to celebrate life is fueled with the stuff of death.

‘The Bucket List’

DIRECTED BY Rob Reiner

SCREENPLAY BY Justin Zachman

STARRING Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman, Sean Hayes, Beverly Todd and Rob Morrow

RATED PG-13

RUNNING TIME: 98 minutes

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