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File:The bucket list movie poster onesheet.jpg

The Bucket List is a 2007 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 is a 2007 film starring 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.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Lucius Fox and the Joker go on a road trip. Or Detective Gittes and God go on a road trip. You decide.
  • 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 Myth Busters 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.

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