Mr. Deeds Goes to Town ★★★★

I look at Mr Deeds as a twist on the doppelgänger, evil twin, Jekyll & Hyde trope. Mr Deeds represents the best part of us, the part we wish was larger. The part that rides banisters, jumps firetrucks. The part that thinks the best about others, gives without hoping for anything in return, what Jesus meant when he said you must become like little children enter the kingdom of heaven.

The Mr Hyde side of the character is me the viewer: self-centered and cynical, quick to judge others unfavorably or think they’re crazy, to keep donuts for myself rather than feed them to a horse, and the part that’s too afraid or selfish to give until it hurts to others who need it more. Granted it would be a lot easier for me to act like Mr Deeds if there was a chance I’d get Jean Arthur as a reward.

I saw Mr Deeds for the first time when I was a fully pixelated kid, and I loved it. The second time I saw it was on a double bill with Mr Smith in college at my most smug and cynical, and I found it corny and sentimental. It’s good to know after this rewatch, that now that I’m in my 50s I’m becoming more pixelated again.

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