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Film: The Bucket List
The Bucket List is a 2007 comedy-drama film directed by Rob Reiner and starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman.

Edward Cole is a hospital magnate who has made his fortune off of charging for hospital stays, but when he ends up in his own hospital with terminal lung cancer and meets Carter Chambers, a mechanic in a similar state, they strike up an odd friendship and make a "bucket list" of things to do before they die.

This and Edward's money takes them around the world as their deaths get closer, but as their health declines it gets harder and harder to do what they want. In the end, they find out what's really worth spending their time on.


This film contains examples of:

  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: Roger Ebert complained about the plot putting both men in the same room, since in reality hospitals would put them in separate rooms to make more money. However, if they didn't share a room there would be no plot.
    • Actually part of the script in the beginning. Edward Cole stipulates "2 to a room! No exceptions!"
  • Actor Allusion: Carter talks about wanting to be the first Black president in his youth. Morgan Freeman played the president in Deep Impact, though it is unclear if he was the first African-American one in the story.
    • Edward talks about missing a lunch meeting with Michelle Pfeiffer to attend a hearing. Nicholson starred with Pfeiffer in Wolf, and both also played villains in the Tim Burton Batman movies. Though not at the same time.
  • Award Bait Song: John Mayer's "Say" over the credits.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Edward first discovers something is wrong when he coughs up blood into a handkerchief.
  • Close on Title
  • Contemplate Our Navels: Both men spend quite a bit of the movie wondering about the meaning of life and death.
  • Cool Old Guy: Carter and Edward.
  • Deadly Distant Finale: At the end Edward, who beat cancer and lived another thirty years after that, has his ashes put on a mountaintop (illegally) next to those of Carter.
  • Do Not Go Gentle: Both men decide that if they're going to go, they'll go down swinging.
  • Dueling-Stars Movie: Just in case you didn't catch that bit at the beginning, "The Bucket List stars Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman."
  • Ending Memorial Service
  • Foregone Conclusion: The two men die. This should be obvious from the title alone.
  • Good Adultery, Bad Adultery: Edward encourages Carter to sleep with an attractive woman because he's only been with his wife and will never have another chance. Subverted, since he doesn't go through with it. Plus, Edward only suggested it to remind Carter how much he misses his wife.
  • Hollywood Atheist: Edward's bitter, cynical, extremely unpleasant to most people he interacts with, and claims to envy people with faith even if he doesn't understand what it's about. Yeah, classic stereotypical example.
  • Hollywood Skydiving: As the MythBusters showed, they would not be able to hear each other as they were diving. But both have a tandem partner, averting a usual cliche.
  • Jeopardy! Intelligence Test: Used to demonstrate Carter's intelligence.
  • Like You Were Dying
  • Meet Cute: Roger Ebert actually refers to this trope by name in his review when talking about how Edward and Carter meet up.
  • Millionaire Playboy: Edward, divorced four times.
  • Mood Whiplash: Unsurprisingly frequent, what with it being a lighthearted comedy-drama based around terminal illness.
    I'm pretty sure he was happy with his final resting place, because he was buried on the mountain. And that was against the law.
  • Noodle Incident: Edward tried to fire Matt once before, for the "Oprah Incident."
  • Odd Friendship / Salt and Pepper: The latter is played with since Carter is the much more level headed of the two
  • Out with a Bang: Subverted, Carter is about to make love to his wife when he falls to the floor and starts convulsing, and later dies at the hospital.
  • Posthumous Narration: A twist, in that though the opening narration implies otherwise, Carter is the one who dies first.
  • Running Gag: Edward's love of Kopi Luwak, a coffee that's made from coffee beans that have been digested and pooped out by a cat civet.
  • Scenery Porn: The locales Ed and Carter visit are on a lot of Bucket Lists, and for good reason.
  • Taking You with Me: A comical example as Edward rather sings "I got a feeling I'm falling" Rather than pulling the cord on the parachute risking killing himself and his Tandem partner.
  • Twist Ending: Both men die, but not in the order expected
  • Uncle Pennybags: Edward
  • World's Most Beautiful Woman: One of Edward's points on his list is to kiss the world's most beautiful girl, who turns out to be his granddaughter.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: Kinna the whole point.

Blue VelvetRoger Ebert Most Hated Film ListCharlie's Angels
Bridge to TerabithiaFilms of 2005 - 2009 Captivity

alternative title(s): The Bucket List
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