Chad Comello

books, movies, libraries, typewriters

Tag: It’s A Wonderful Life

Which movie changed you?

On Being—a top-5 podcast for me—has a new offshoot podcast called This Movie Changed Me, with “one fan talking about the transformative power of one movie.” So far they’ve featured Star Wars: A New HopeEternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and You’ve Got Mail.

It made me think about what mine would be. The quick and easy answer would be Back to the Future, if only because of how much I’ve written about it on this site. But I think there are other candidates. Some that come to mind, all for different reasons, include It’s a Wonderful LifeHigh FidelityOnceToy Story, and Unbreakable.

I don’t know. I have to think about this. What’s yours?

Update: I want to include some of the replies I’ve gotten to this query:

  • “Oddly enough, Snowpiercer. While it’s a terribly chaotic movie, man, it haunts me every day. The ignorant frivolity of the front car compared to the ruthless survival of the back cars…way too real. I probably think about it every day. Because I’m one of the front car a**holes.”
  • “It’s A Wonderful Life. Each Christmas Eve we watch it I learn something from the movie that is applied to my life; courage through hardship, wisdom of God, love of family and friends, mystery of life. It’s amazing how this movie has been intertwined with me on a small yet profound level.”
  • “Cloud Atlas. I frankly had a spiritual experience in the theater. It articulated my worldview in a way I hadn’t really seen before (or at least to that extent). Uneven as it may be, it floored me.”
  • “While I look at it quite differently now, Chasing Amy had a huge impact on me. Her monologue about sexual freedom and independence is feminist AF and it was like finally having my thoughts and feelings validated.”
  • Do the Right Thing made me aware of how I process anger as a white person.”

For when you want to live again

A half-deaf star with promise,
next always to the one who grew into a supernova
and left to shine brightly,
shrinks and stares at the cold abyss.
Then the supernova returns with its light,
to its small town in the universe.

A eucatastrophe to save a life,
For when you want to live again.

Good tidings it brings to its kin,
and salvation,
calling riches into being
for the sake of old times.

How it all comes together in the end:
The machinations of love embodied by
Mary, Christmas.
It’s a cacophonous love
that drafts through the doors,
with jubilation and release,
understanding and aid.
A jolly band on parade:
wine flowing,
voices singing,
bells ringing,
coins clinking,
and lovers bringing
peace and wholeness, like you’ve been given wings
for a first-class trip
home again.

My Mouth’s Bleedin’!


Today is the day, the only day of the year, when I watch It’s A Wonderful Life. Watching the classic Christmas movie with a bowl of popcorn and a crackling fire on Christmas Eve has become perhaps the longest tradition with my family. Another tradition, getting up at 5 a.m. on Christmas morning and waiting for our parents to wake up, luckily has died out now that we’re all grown. But I suspect watching George Bailey on his “red letter day” will never get old.

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