Ten Splendid Sequels You Can Expect to See

When my oldest kid was about three, she suddenly stood up from the dinner table and announced, "I have a splendid idea!"  She dashed away, and we waited, breathlessly.  In two minutes, she came back with a cup of water, waited until all eyes were on  her, and then triumphantly dumped the water on her head.

It was indeed a splendid idea.

Similar in its splendor and brilliance and all around overwhelming smartness of brain, we have this idea from Hollywood:  a sequel to It's a Wonderful LifeAccording to Variety,

Karolyn Grimes, who played George Bailey’s daughter “Zuzu” in the original, will return for the “Wonderful Life” sequel as an angel who shows Bailey’s unlikeable grandson (also named George Bailey) how much better off the world would have been had he never been born.

"How much better off the world would have been had he never been born."

"How much better off the world would have been had he never been born."

Did you ever?  Did you really, really ever?  I'm no fan of big government, but I feel there should be at least an ordinance against committing such acts of violence against basic human cognition.  I mean, it's not like It's a Wonderful Life is an especially subtle movie.  It's a sweet, effective movie, with a point worth making:  life is worth living; your presence in the world is important; it's better to exist than not to exist.  As an extra service, they summarize the theme of the movie in the title.  To miss the point, you'd have to have industrial grade thickness of skull.

And yet miss it they did, and how:

“The storyline of the new film retains the spirit of the original – every life is important as long as you have friends,” Farnsworth said. 

Okay!  You win.  If this is what passes for a splendid idea that retains the spirit of the original, I have a few other ideas for sequels that should appeal to these folks:

1.  The Odyssey Continues.  A bored Odysseus persuades Penelope to agree to an open marriage.  They get a second bed at Ikea and set it up next to the big tree bed.  In a daring twist, this domestic epic film will star Renee Zellweger in a gender-bending, Oscar-baiting role of a lifetime as Penelope and Odysseus.  Adorable cameo by Seth Rogen as Argos the wisecracking dog.

2.  The African Queen: a Tale of Sustainability.  a leisurely paced drama/romance in which a perfectly suited couple discover the joys of using top notch boating equipment from L.L. Bean to portage up stream, where it's quieter. 

3.  The Sound of Compromise in which Greta Von Trapp's descendants learn that sometimes it's better to just put one's head down and go along to get along.  Also, singing children annoy people, so stop.

4.  Enlightened Harry where Dirty Harry, grown weary violence and strife, has gone to community college and is now a  public defender who fights tirelessly to get the Scorpio Killer a new trial.  Starring Alan Alda as Dirty Harry.  Sponsored by Purell.

5.  Escape from Boca Raton in which an aging Snake Plisskin settles down in an assisted living community. One day, the nutritionist gets caught in the walk-in freezer, and it's only a matter of time before the hungry senior citizens revolt.  Does the indefatigable, tough as nails Snake Plisskin have one last rescue in him?  No.  No, he does not.  He's in his favorite chair watching Rachel Maddow and has forgotten to turn on his hearing aid again, so that's the end of that.

6.  Beyond High Noon Jim Carrey as the ever-so-flexible sheriff who appreciates nuance in the legal justice system, and just want to be accepting of all peoples, be they Quakers or be they killers or be they whatever.  When the clock strikes noon, he and Frank Miller sign a peace accord.  In the final scene, they are gleefully planning to open a bed and breakfast together, what with all the train traffic they've been getting lately.

7.  The Compounding Interest of the Sierra Madre.  Think that was the end of the story when all the gold dust goes blowing back where it came from?  TWIST!  It turns out Howard is an undercover Federale (as he proves by showing his badge in the opening scene), and he switched the bags of gold before he left for the village.  He digs up his treasure from its hiding place and spends the rest of the movie instructing the villagers on the virtues of modest attire, and sets about designing a rudimentary monetary system, with grand plans of some day bringing the stock market to the jungle.

8.  E.T. II, the Revenge.  In the first movie, he came to earth for two reasons:  to teach people about peace, and to eat Reece's Pieces.  Thanks to his people's highly advanced replication technology, he still has plenty of Reece's Pieces, but he is basically done with peace, so he comes back with a couple hundred thousand of his bug-eyed friends.  Sorry, Elliot.  KA-BLAMMO.

9.  Hard Day's Night:  the Morning After.  Ever attuned to the latest youth craze, Life Teen International signs a groundbreaking deal with the Spice Girls, who experience hijinks and then reunite to put together one final show.  Wilford Brimley stars as Baby Spice's grandfather, who reminds them of the main message of the Gospel:  friendship is magic.

10.  The Godfather Part III, in which Sofia Coppola  . . .

Nah, that's too far fetched.