The Bucket List
When successful corporate businessman Edward Cole (Jack Nicholson) and lowly mechanic Carter Chambers (Morgan Freeman) end up sharing the same hospital room and receiving the same news; that they have six to twelve months to live, a bond slowly starts to form.
As different as chalk and cheese, these two men under any other circumstance would have not had the opportunity to meet. Edward, high flying and successful, a man in charge of his own destiny, and Carter, a quiet, but deeply religious man with a positive outlook on life are as opposite as you can get, but after being forced to live together in a hospital room, they decide that they are going to rediscover life together – before they finally kick the bucket – by helping each other fulfil a bucket list – a list of things you want to do before you die.
Along the way they both discover things about each other and about themselves, but the key to really living is to find joy in life and share it with others. This is the biggest challenge either of them will find, as Edward had traded joy for success a long time ago, and the mundaneness of life has loosened the grip on Carters joy.
Together the two men set off on the adventure of a life time and we the viewer are taken along for the ride to witness the incredible chemistry brewing between these tow establish actors.
The Bucket List is pure movie joy, it’s a positive delight to watch and Rob Reiner has cut off all the fat to leave a movie that is lean and movies at an enjoyable pace.
Nicholson and Freeman are perfect in their respective roles bringing an authentic passion to the lead characters lives and enabling the viewer to connect with them effortlessly. If this movie fails to bring a smile to your face a moisten the eyes a little, then you might want to have your pulse checked.
Food for thought (spoilers):
Without Carter’s faith, his unconditional love for people and humble outlook on life, the two would never have hit it off. Without Edward’s tenacity and determination to show Carter how life should be lived, Carter would not have been able to re-ignite his lost joy. Together, because they let their character strengths shine bright they were able to help one another achieve the loftiest of goals.
Want another opinion? Read Josh’s cinema review of The Bucket List.
Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman shaved their heads for the film.
Justin Zackham finished the script in just two weeks.
Both director Rob Reiner and actor Morgan Freeman independently thought of Jack Nicholson to play the role of Edward Cole.
Jack Nicholson’s own experience in the hospital, just prior to filming, inspired some of the dialogue and acting for the movie. For example, the mirrored glasses seen in the movie were not originally in the script, but Nicholson, who obtained them while in the hospital, brought them to set. Director Rob Reiner decided to include them in the film.
Justin Zackham wrote the script with Morgan Freeman in mind to play Carter.
Prints were shipped to some theaters under the fake name “Roads to Paradise”.
Morgan Freeman’s real life son, Alfonso Freeman, plays his son in this movie.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read.
Rating: M – Contains Offensive Language.
Duration: 97 mins.
Director: Rob Reiner.
Actors: Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman, Beverly Todd, Rob Morrow, Sean Hayes, Alfonso Freeman, Rowena King, Brian Copeland.
Release Date: Available now.