Ahhhh, I love this movie so much. I've seen it 9 or 10 times and likely will sit through a few dozen more watches before I die. So again, this will be a very biased review. But I also mean to persuade you in its favor in case you haven't yet had the good fortune to watch this movie.
George Bailey is your typical, big idea-driven character who's stuck in a small, traditional community. He's also an all-around lovable guy and played by Jimmy Stewart who is perfect. We even named our dog "Bailey" after him. But I digress.
He has big ideas, and he has big plans, but circumstances and a woman named Mary keep him from ever launching into his dream big world.
He eventually marries, settles down, and has four children. One beautiful aspect of the story is his positive influence on everyone he meets. He may be one of the most important people in the town, but he's too humble to realize it.
The plot comes to its crux when, due to a banking accident, George considers taking his own life. This triggers an emotionally powerful but subtly humorous sequence in which an unconventional angel descends from Heaven to help him.
The WWII historical references and the funny situational side comedies add an old fashioned feel which complements the music and B&W so nicely.
Another virtue of this movie is its hilarious characters. They're just so funny. And quirky, and real, and this movie is just the best, okay?
Have you seen It's A Wonderful Life? Isn't it the best? Don't be afraid to answer if you didn't like it-- I won't bite. :)