I’ll have another helping of schmaltz with some schmaltz on the side.
Written By: Justin Zackham
Directed By: Rob Reiner
There is something wrong with a film that has Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson as the leads that has to work so hard to try and earn your trust. The Bucket List doesn’t earn that trust, instead it falls into cliché after cliché and pours the schmaltz all over the place. It’s a comedy and a drama, but it is one of those comedies where even the funniest of laughs are obvious and the drama is of the melodramatic and contrived kind. Despite all that there are moments where The Bucket List is an eminently watchable film, and that rests on the shoulders of Misters Freeman and Nicholson. They take a routine script, and what appears to be a directionless movie, and try to shore it up. They do their best and they draw you in, but every time they do so the story rears its ugly mug again and hits you over the head with more heavy handed histrionics.
One scene in particular bugged me, the sky diving scene. If you have two actors who can’t do the actual scene, then film something else. But, if all else fails do not super-impose their heads onto the bodies of other sky divers in such obviously bad photo shop fashion that all one can do is look at their screen and shake their head in contempt and then laugh at how preposterously bad it all looks. Outside of that there wasn’t anything tremendously bad about The Bucket List, but there wasn’t anything titillatingly good either.
The Bucket List is a movie without focus, without direction, with plenty of melodrama and schmaltz. It also houses some humor, but more jokes that fall flat than don’t. Its two lead actors try their hardest to reign the movie in, but not even they can stop the endless parade of hammy events and hokey dialogue. Skip The Bucket List, watch these two fine actors in any of their good movies instead.