Since it’s a Christmas tradition, the movie It’s a Wonderful Life has been parodied numerous times in popular culture, most of which you probably don’t remember.
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Every holiday season, It’s a Wonderful Life is a must-see. Many people were moved by George Bailey’s journey of rediscovering the true meaning of Christmas and family by the end of the film, making it one of the best Christmas movies ever.
In spite of this, the scene in which Clarence, Bailey’s guardian angel, shows him a different history in which he was never born has been repeated countless times. In other words, this list will take a look at films that used a formula to tell their stories in a parodic way that no one expected.
1. Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause
There are better Christmas movies, but it’s fun to see Tim Allen take on the role of Santa Claus for the first time. Two sequels attempted to continue the story.
But unlike its predecessor, which was solid but not great, Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause is a Disney Channel-level production that takes the It’s a Wonderful Life template and makes it into something forgettable. Martin Short, on the other hand, appears to be doing fine.
We can’t believe a successful architect played by an Adam Sandler would have a jokey voice. In Click, Michael Newman (Christopher Walken) is given an all-purpose remote control, which allows him to rewind and fast-forward through his life.
By doing so, he is able to skip important events in his life and create a different timeline in which he has less influence on his family. A Happy Madison vehicle, no matter how well-intentioned, will always be Happy Madison.
3. It’s a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie
The Muppets are featured in a number of other holiday films, including The Muppets Christmas Story. Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas and The Christmas Toy are two more options to consider. Then there’s It’s a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie, the scourge of Christmas Muppet movies.
The Muppets paying homage to It’s a Wonderful Life is an interesting concept, but the part where they parody the film is downright bizarre. Kermit the Frog discovered what life would be like without the Muppets in an alternate timeline: a nightclub with live performances by the characters. Really.
4.The Butterfly Effect
The butterfly effect has long been a popular narrative device in popular culture. It’s so well-known that a horror film with the exact same title has been made about it. This branch of chaos theory is based on the idea that even a small change in the past can have a large impact in the future.
In this case, Evan Treborn, a twenty-something, has the ability to go back in time and change the course of events, thereby eradicating the trauma he and his friends have experienced. Adderall’s design is based on this.
5. 13 Going on 30
Like Click, the premise of 13 Going on 30 is that the main character explores an alternate future timeline where things don’t go as planned. A woman named Jennifer wishes to be “30, flirty, and thriving,” and her wish sends her back to 2004, when she achieved a lot by that standard, having to work for her favorite magazine and becoming estranged from her parents and best friend Matt.
As a chick flick, the concept is too corny and cheeky. The working template and Jennifer Garner’s performance make it work.
6. The Family Man
This time it’s the other way around. Clarence the Clarence-like character offers George Bailey’s counterpart a chance at a more prosperous future in the film, It’s a Wonderful Life. Rather than being a Wall Street playboy, Nicolas Cage plays the George Bailey-like suburban father with a wife and children in this film.
Being yet another sentimental Christmas movie, the story is chock-full of holiday sweets. Yet Cage and Leoni’s stirring performances and well-intentioned arcs effectively flip the film formula made it effective.
Although Harold Ramis and Brendan Fraser remade the film, it will never be as good as the original, which starred Peter Cook and Dudley Moore. When a down-on-his-luck loser accidentally makes a deal with the devil to grant him seven wishes in exchange for winning the girl of his dreams, the comedy takes an unexpected turn.
This template was only useful for the seven wishes, which were all different from one another but didn’t satisfy him in any way.
8. Shrek Forever After
As a result, it’s been an Ogre-ful Life for the final Shrek film. It’s a midlife crisis for Green Og, who wishes for one day when he’s his scary old self, only to unwittingly trade his birth date with Rumpelstiltskin for the fourth time in the series.
Even though the It’s a Wonderful Life template had been overdone by that point, it was a fitting way to end the Shrek saga. It’s an improvement over Shrek the Third, which was truly awful.
9. Donnie Darko
Warning: There are spoilers ahead for this psychological thriller. Donnie Darko’s ending contains a model of It’s a Wonderful Life, which may be considered a spoiler. He wakes up from his imagined future after discovering the ability to go backward in time, and accepts his fate of being taken away by an airplane that crashes near where he lives.
Donnie beams with pride, knowing that becoming a lifesaver has prevented him from facing a bleak future. That goes a lot further.
10. Back to the Future Part II
A Back to the Future sequel will, of course, be inspired by a classic Christmas movie with a time-traveling third act. While returning to the year 2015, Marty McFly finds himself in a harsher alternate timeline where Biff took advantage of his gambling skills to make a fortune and adopt Lorraine as his own.
As a result, in the previous Back to the Future film, Marty McFly alters the events of the past in order to preserve the present (until the next movie). Hoverboards have yet to exist in either of the two alternate future timelines, but they’re close enough.
Paolo Alfar is a Manila-based freelance writer. When he was a kid, he created a movie theater out of nothing and it became a huge part of his life. His love for movies grew as a result of this experience. And “Blood Diamond,” the Leo DiCaprio epic, may have sparked this interest. Paolo the TPS is his Letterboxd handle.