Well, folks are no longer allowed to have nice things, no matter how long those things have been in our families. A sequel to “It’s A Wonderful Life” has been announced. Called “It’s A Wonderful Life: The Rest of the Story,” it will apparently come barging into theaters in December 2015, unless we can think up some way to prevent it, say by scheduling the eruption of the Yellowstone volcano or filling all the screens with the new Star Wars.*
According to Variety, the sequel is going to focus on “George Bailey’s unlikable grandson,” with the actress who portrayed ZuZu Bailey now playing an angel who shows him “how much better off the world would have been had he never been born.” That’s a winning formula already. Whenever I watch “It’s A Wonderful Life,” I itch for a less likable protagonist. “See here,” I say. “This George Bailey is all well and good, but I really want to see a movie about someone two generations removed whom I like less. Also I would like the moral to be the exact opposite.”
I hope they take up this approach for other holiday movies. If they’re just taking wild terrible pitches in the Magical Elevator Where These Pitches Happen, here are a couple more.
-Love Actually: The Rest of the Story. A series of interlocking vignettes about people discovering that there is no such thing as love, not even for gifted child-singers, people separated by language barriers or Hugh Grant. Somehow, something even worse happens to Emma Thompson’s character.
-The Sound of Music: The Rest of the Story. The next generation of Von Trapp children is tormented by a nightmarish disciplinarian stage mother trying to force them to become a singing group. Alternate title: “Gypsy, Party of Seven.”
-A Charlie Brown Christmas: The Rest of the Story. Linus gives a big speech about how the true meaning of Christmas is the BIG SALE GOING ON RIGHT NOW!
-A Christmas Carol: The Rest of the Story. Scrooge is visited by three ghosts who indicate to him by signs that he should have spent more time in the office.
-Polar Express: The Rest of the Story. Eh, that CGI-animated version with Tom Hanks was creepy enough. No change.
*I prefer the second idea.