'It's a Wonderful Life' Public domain via Wikimedia Commons


It's A Wonderful Life

Dec. 22
1 p.m.
$7; $5 kids 12 and under
Family Events, Film, Holiday

Forget the saccharine trainwrecks you’ve watched this season on the Hallmark Channel, Netflix, and Hulu. It’s A Wonderful Life is the OG “make you cry with joy” Christmas flick. But it’s not just sweet; it’s an enduring December tradition because it’s as dark as it is lighthearted—which is no easy feat. Jimmy Stewart plays George Bailey, a humble banker (go with it; this movie was made in 1946) from a small town who has faced as many disappointments in life as he has had triumphs. When things go wrong at the bank and at home, he runs off to the bar and, in a drunken stupor, decides to kill himself. That’s when an angel steps in and shows him what the life of those he loves would be without him. These horrors include mass deaths, insanity, and spinsterdom (the worst thing a woman can face!). You know how this goes. In the end, George learns the importance of getting over what you don’t have and appreciating what you do. If the final scene doesn’t make you tear up at least a little bit, your heart is probably made of stone.