I love Magnolia to the point I'm a little upset that Kevin Smith mocks it in a terrible movie (that I love) in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. Though the movie is obviously on the opposite side of pretentiousness as Kevin Smith films, cheesy movies shouldn't make fun of classics, or maybe that's exactly what they should do, who cares.
The list goes on and on as to why this slow paced film without a centralized plot is one of the best films of the 90s but there's one thing that prevents it from true re-watchable greatness (it's still pretty fun to re-watch though), and that's the plot line that ties all the stories together which is, "Old Man on his death bed." I hate this storyline no matter what. It never works ever. All it really ever does is turn a great film into something inescapably depressing. In the history of life, only once has there ever been a fun death bed experience, and certainly there never will be again.
Aside from Magnolia's sure fire depression, here are five more examples of death bed sequences that lessen otherwise fun movies:
- The movie which hasn't come out yet in which a husband of a drooling vegetable argues with the family of a drooling vegetable over taking someone out of their misery. Sean Penn obviously plays the husband. It will most likely be called "Live, and Let Terry Die."
- The one instant in the history of life where a death bed sequence is funny is in the movie Death Bed: The Bed That Eats. I've never seen it, but naturally I have to. It's becoming my new Death Race 2000 which turned out quite well (the original that is).
Now for the serious ones:
- The dad in Big Fish. This is one of my favorite Tim Burton films only I've not really been able to watch it that much because its overall premise is so depressing. Ewan McGregor kicks ass, the story in general is wonderful and it even tries for a happy ending, but ultimately you know the dad is going to die.
- Ricky Gervais going for Oscar in The Invention of Lying. I love this movie so much when it tries to be light-hearted but it goes for it all with Ricky inventing heaven while him mom is on her death bed. It's not bad or anything, just too powerful to want to witness again. I should not be near tears if Ricky Gervais is involved.
- Lastly, though necessary for the film, I always skip the part of Forrest Gump when he loses mama. This could be in the running for "Most Fun Movie Ever" if it weren't for mama getting the cancer (or Jenny getting the AIDS).