Monday, September 28, 2015

Movie Review - Clarence

When everyone started talking about the possibility that someone may "finally" be creating a sequel to It's a Wonderful Life in 2014, my first thought was "another one?"

That's because it has already been done before. On second thought, perhaps it hasn't been done before. Perhaps, instead, there has been a spin-off movie.

I am talking about the movie Clarence, Starring Robert Carradine. It was released in January 1998 by Republic Pictures, which also put out It's a Wonderful Life. The movie explores what happened to Clarence about 50 years later after he saved George Bailey.
A scene from Clarence.
Source: http://www.etv.co.za/movies/family/clarence

Clarence feels like he made a mess in Bedford Falls, despite his successful intervention. Because of that, he refuses to serve as a guardian angel any longer.

Not even five minutes into the movie, one angel refuses to return to earth. His reason? He doesn't have wings. In It's a Wonderful Life, we learn that this is the perfect reason to go to earth. Helping others is the way to earn your wings. It's a huge hole in the movie plot that cannot be ignored.

Apparently, in addition to earning their wings, guardian angels also get younger as time progresses.

After some conniving, Clarence accepts a mission to help a friend's wife who is contemplating suicide. He is given strict rules to follow, but of course, things don't go quite right for Clarence. He is forced to break every rule he is given. His intentions are good, but the consequences are always unintended and always bad.

This movie is dated by the technology that appears in it. The family that Clarence helps is a family of computer programmers who are trying to repair a glitchy video game and get it to market. Only adults will recognize the 5.25" floppy disks that the game is programmed on.

The works of Mark Twain again make an important appearance in this movie.

Clarence is only available on VHS. I purchased it in 1999. You can learn more about the movie here.

It's campy, a little bit cheesy, and very over-acted. Yet, I give it 3 out of 5 stars, which is more than I have been willing to give it before.