KARI: You didn’t come to bed last night.
MIKE: I didn’t want to wake you again.
MIKE: Yeah, I came and told you about the game and about It’s a Wonderful Life.
KARI: I took Ambien.
MIKE: I could tell.
KARI: I don’t remember this conversation.
MIKE: I figured.
KARI: So, the game?
MIKE: We lost in overtime.
KARI: I’m sorry.
MIKE: It’s okay.
MIKE: It was.
KARI: What about To Kill a Mockingbird! I thought that would be number one!
MIKE: It was number two.
KARI: What else?
MIKE: Schindler’s List was number three.
KARI: Yay, Holocaust?
MIKE: I think the criteria was a little different than we thought it would be.
KARI: Yeah, when I think “100 Cheers” I don’t think “Schindler’s List.” I guess I was expecting more of the movies to be like Rudy, since that was the one on the commercials. Movies that inspire you to be a better person, or to reach for your dreams.
MIKE: It was about the triumph of the human spirit. That means the movie can be sad.
KARI: Well, then, two things. 1. “100 Cheers” is a terrible name, because I thought it would be actual cheers in movies that they’d be talking about. Like Rudy. Or Hoosiers. Basically, I thought there’d be a lot of sports. And 2. What human spirit triumphs in It’s a Wonderful Life?!?
MIKE: I think they were trying to make it rhyme. 100 Years/100 Cheers.
KARI: It’s a Wonderful Life is NOT the most inspiring movie! Unless we’re talking about “inspiring people to stab themselves in the eye with a pen.”
MIKE: When I told you that It’s a Wonderful Life had won, you said, “I have WORDS.”
KARI: Even drugged-out-on-Ambien Kari knows that that is a terrible choice. Have these people even SEEN It’s a Wonderful Life? Do they KNOW how depressing it is? So he gets some money in the end and somebody rings a little bell so Clarence can get his frickin’ wings. This does not inspire me.
MIKE: I think now is the time for you to write an essay detailing the many faults of It’s a Wonderful Life.
KARI: I might have to watch it again to do that. And I refuse to watch it again.
MIKE: But I enjoy your bitter diatribes.
KARI: If they named Atticus as the greatest hero, how can his movie NOT be the most inspiring?
MIKE: George Bailey was number nine on that list.
KARI: And Mr. Potter was, what a top-five villain? [Editor: he was number six.] That means the villain in that movie is better than the protagonist!
MIKE: That’s not really what that means.
KARI: . . .
MIKE: You’re right! That’s exactly what that means!
KARI: Thank you.
MIKE: It’s a good thing you didn’t stay up. You would have gotten so mad you wouldn’t have been able to sleep.
KARI: Well, yeah! Because the human spirit doesn’t triumph in It’s a Wonderful Life! He wastes his whole life in that stupid town, and then, at the end, his friends come and bail him out one time, and I’m supposed to think it’s great! But it’s not! Everything will go back to being awful in the end. The only difference is that now Clarence has his wings.
MIKE: Hey, remember how they talk smack about librarians, too?
KARI: Now you’re just trying to provoke me.
MIKE: Yes. Is it working?
KARI: Yes. I bet they had lots of shots of Uncle Billy. Stupid Uncle Billy with his stupid string around his stupid fingers. Too stupid to realize he’s given the money to Mr. Potter.
MIKE: Don’t forget Zuzu’s petals.
KARI: I hate Zuzu’s petals. And the stupid banister. And the,”I wish I had a million dollars!”
MIKE: Remember how he gives up his honeymoon to save the Savings and Loan? That’s my favorite part.
KARI: I hate you.
MIKE: It’s so great that he never gets to leave.
KARI: The list is now inspiring me to stab YOU in the eye with a pen.
MIKE: There are plenty of people who agree with you. Bitter, sad people who can’t enjoy the greatness of the most inspiring movie in the history of cinema.
KARI: Like Phoebe. “It’s a Sucky Life, and Just When You Think It Can’t Suck Any More It Does!”
MIKE: Yeah, Phoebe on your side. That’ll convince people.
KARI: . . .
MIKE: Hey, thanks for cheering me up about the game. I feel a lot better already.