A Christmas Film Review From Carmel Harrington

Christmas along with Santa Claus, turkey feasts, selection boxes, gifts, tinsel and fairy lights, is a time for much loved traditions that have been with us since childhood.  These traditions remain steadfast and true no matter how old we get or where we are.

One such tradition for me is one that has been cast for Christmas Eve.  We all get to open one present from under the tree. Then a smorgasbord of hot sausage rolls, a glorious cheese board with chutney, followed by mince pies and cream is produced, washed down beautifully with a glass of Pinot Noir.  With the lights switched off and the magical glow of the Christmas Trees fairy lights twinkling gently, it’s time to snuggle down on our couch and watch my all-time favourite Christmas movie.



It’s A Wonderful Life is the 1946 classic that is quite rightly top of the list on many a Christmas poll. For those that don’t know the story, here is a quick synopsis:

It’s a Wonderful Life is a 1946 American Christmas movie produced and directed by Frank Capra. It is based on the short story The Greatest Gift, written by Philip Van Doren. The film stars the legendary James Stewart as George Bailey, a man who has given up his dreams in order to help others and whose imminent suicide on Christmas Eve brings about the intervention of his guardian angel Clarence played by the lovable Henry Travers. Clarence shows George all the lives he has touched and how different life in his community of Bedford Falls would be had he never been born.

For me, Christmas hasn’t officially started until I’ve watched It’s A Wonderful Life.  I can quote verbatim most of the lines, but each time I hear certain ones, I am guaranteed to well up with joy and pure unadulterated sentimentality, that in my humble opinion is 100 % allowed at Christmas.  So why does this movie resonate with so many of us?  Well, first of all it has the most beautiful love story throughout it.  All any of us ladies want is a man or woman who is willing to lasso the moon for us.  Here’s a little quote from George and Mary, as they fall in love that I adore and will make you go awwww.

George Bailey: What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That’s a pretty good idea. I’ll give you the moon, Mary.

Mary: I’ll take it. Then what?

George Bailey: Well, then you can swallow it, and it’ll all dissolve, see… and the moonbeams would shoot out of your fingers and your toes and the ends of your hair… am I talking too much?

But more than the love story, I think we all adore It’s a Wonderful Life because George Bailey’s character is one that most of us can identify with.  Sometimes life brings us on path much different than we had ever planned, as idealistic young adults.  But if we learn to accept the life that we have, find joy in that very life whilst of course never allowing ourselves to give up on cherished hopes and dreams, we often find that what we already have is pretty darn good.

It’s all about finding the right attitude I think, as George finally does when he finds his way home to his precious family, realising that whilst he may not have left Bedford Falls to travel the world, he had in fact all the world he’d ever need to see, right in his rickety old house.

And if you haven’t seen the movie yet, watch it for the very last line of the movie that will thaw the most hardened of hearts.

Zuzu Bailey: Look, Daddy. Teacher says, every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings.

George Bailey: That’s right, that’s right.

George Bailey: [Looks heavenward] Attaboy, Clarence.


Happy Christmas everyone,

Love Carmel xxx

(Self-Confessed Sentimental Softie!)

You can follow Carmel on Twitter: @happymrsh

Beyond Grace’s Rainbow is Carmel’s beautiful novel.