Written by Heather Foley
Last week I read something so awful, so grievous, so upsetting that I think it should be considered a crime against humanity – plans for a sequel to It’s A Wonderful Life. Now for the record I am not 100% anti-sequels. I watched Catching Fire, the Hunger Games sequel, literally the second I could, and I think I’ve seen all the XMen sequels (I say “I think” because there have been about 37 of them, and I really can’t be sure), and if the rumored Jurassic Park sequel gets made I’ll totally see that the weekend it opens. But let’s be honest, most movies don’t warrant sequels…or remakes for that matter.
Hollywood is killing me. They love taking a perfectly good, no make that, beloved film and ruining it by making a sequel no one wants or a remake no one needs. Let’s chat about sequels first, shall we? Just because a movie makes money, it doesn’t mean it needs a sequel. I remember when I was a kid sequels were few and far between. Yes, there were the Jaws sequels, and as is most often the case they got progressively bad until the last one was completely effing terrible. I loved Legally Blonde, but did it need a sequel? Did anyone say to themselves “but now what happens to Elle Woods?” when the credits rolled? I’d bet my 401k no one did. And what about sequels that are so bad they go straight to video? Mean Girls 2 I’m talking to you.
While we’re at it, enough with the remakes! I’ll never forget the anger that boiled up in me when I saw the preview for The Karate Kid with Jaden “give me a friggin break” Smith. Not much makes me angrier than seeing The Karate Kid on the guide and putting it on only to find out it’s the remake, nerd rage! The latest remake sacrilege is Annie. This was my favorite movie as a kid (fun story that might give you some insight on why I’m so broken inside, my mom used to threaten to send me to Miss Hannigan’s orphanage when I misbehaved and one time she even drove me to “the orphanage” that was really just an old brick building), and I’m so upset about the remake I could spit nails. First of all, Cameron Diaz as Miss Hannigan? Are you kidding me? Carol Burnett’s shoes can never be filled, Diaz should know that. And have you seen the pics of Diaz as Miss Hannigan? She looks like a middle aged Miley Cyrus, and that very well may the look they’re going for but it sucks. I guess the one good thing I can say about the Annie remake is that Willow Smith isn’t in as was originally rumored. My god those Smith kids are insufferable.
Now back to It’s A Wonderful Life, this movie holds a very special place in my heart. My grandfather, who I was very close to, looked like Jimmy Stewart (George Bailey), so when I watch It’s A Wonderful Life every year it’s like I get to spend another couple hours with him. Ok, I know that sounds a little sappy, but what isn’t sappy is how I will do all in my power to destroy whoever green-lights a sequels and cheapens the original for me. I know I’m not the only one who has had such a visceral reaction to the “news”. In addition to pretty much everyone I know and the vast majority of internet comments I’ve read (which I normally do not recommend because when people have the power of internet anonymity they are the absolute worst), Frank Capra’s family and Paramount (who now owns the film’s rights as well as the rights to all the characters) have pledged to do all they can to block a sequel being made, but I’m still a little uneasy. Paramount has made movies like Crocodile Dundee In Los Angeles, How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days, The Honeymooners (speaking of terrible remakes), and the Katy Perry movie, so please forgive me if I worry they’ll change their mind if they think there is money to be made.
I will be the first to admit that I might be a little too invested in TV and movies. I love them, they make me happy and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. I mean there are worse vices to have right? Like a drug problem, or being one of those people who hums or sings all day. So I know that sometimes when it comes to TV and/or movies I can be a little irrational, I can be a little more intense than the average bear, but not in this case. Making a sequel to It’s A Wonderful Life (allegedly called It’s A Wonderful Life: The Rest Of The Story, vomit) is the worst idea anyone has ever had, and I say this as someone who has dozens of terrible ideas a day. Part of the beauty of It’s A Wonderful Life is that it ends at exactly the perfect spot, you’re crying, you’re happy, and you believe that George has finally caught a break and will live happily ever after. That’s enough, that’s all we need, why cheapen it with telling us that after all these years he has an a-hole grandson? Hollywood, I’m begging you, please stop. Enough is enough, I don’t know why you insist on doing your best to ruin everything I hold dear, but I don’t appreciate it, and at some point I’m going to have to start fighting back