You might laugh at Home Alone, A Christmas Story, or Christmas Vacation, but if you really want to wallow in emotion, the go-to Christmas film is It's a Wonderful Life. Not only is it heartwarming and life-affirming, but it has plenty of lessons buried in the story -some you may have forgotten or overlooked. For example: bad guys don't always get punished.
"In many movies, the final scene shows the bad guy being led away in handcuffs," writes Wes McAdams, a pastor from Texas. "It makes us feel good, knowing that justice has been served. Not so in It's A Wonderful Life." In fact, nothing bad happens to the villain.
"I love how George Bailey runs past Potter's window and yells, 'Merry Christmas, Mr. Potter!' and that's the last scene in which we see him," adds McAdams.
In an era when things tended to be resolved before the "The End" sign appeared on the screen, "It's a Wonderful Life deserves credit for not solving every problem with the tinkling of a bell," adds Mark Spearman.
This bit of divergence from the standard happy ending not only makes the story more realistic than it might have been, but it also skirted the Motion Picture Production Code of the 1940s, which demanded that criminals receive their punishment. Whether Potter was technically a criminal is up for debate, but if he had been arrested or had a change of heart, either end would have seemed forced. That's just one of the life lessons from the movie you can read about at The Week.