The recent past has offered an opportunity to browse Netflix and Prime Video and it was on Prime that I came across The Bucket List starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. This 2008 film didn’t go down well at the time, schmaltziness was a word used over and over again but I think the critics were too cynical.
It was an easy watch for one and a half hours, a comedy with flashes of pathos as two men meet in the cancer ward of the local hospital. That’s enough to put you off to begin with but hang on in there.
Jack Nicholson plays billionaire Edward Cole, a lot of money but few friends, a daughter somewhere who rejects him, he owns the hospital but still has to share a room as it was his decision that single rooms were a waste of money.
His room mate is Carter Chambers, Morgan Freeman, a local car mechanic, a man who has spent his life working and studying, he knows a lot about a lot, a charming man who patiently puts up with Edward’s bluster.
Being in such close proximity and suffering a similar terminal fate they begin to bond. They share certain secrets but it’s only when Edward finds a crumpled paper on the floor beside Carter’s bed that the plot develops, it’s a list of things the modest car mechanic wants to achieve before he ‘kicks the bucket’, it’s his bucket list.
The billionaire talks his room mate into actioning the list, he has the money, that’s all he has he says, so he wants to share his new friends ambitions before they die. They quit the hospital against doctors orders, one leaves his wife and family the other his business empire.
Their adventures take them skydiving, road racing, eating caviar in Paris, safari in Africa, the Taj Mahal, the Great Wall of China and the pyramids in Egypt. Something of a travel documentary!
They talk about faith, God, the sugar plum fairy and heaven. Edward’s take on life is - we live we die and the wheels on the bus go round and round! Carter has a deeper faith.
I liked this film, I warmed to the two men and I loved the way they bonded before the inevitable.
The Bucket List. Prime Video