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Blue-collar mechanic Carter Chambers (Freeman) and billionaire hospital magnate Edward Cole (Nicholson) meet for the first time in the hospital after both have been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Although Edward is reluctant to share a room with Carter, complaining that he "looks half-dead already", they become friends as they undergo their respective treatments. Carter is a gifted amateur historian and family man who had wanted to become a history professor in his youth, had been "black, broke, [and with a] baby on the way" and, thus, never rose above his status as a mechanic at the McCreath body shop. Carter loves sharing his knowledge, and his favorite show is Jeopardy!. Edward is a four-time divorced health-care tycoon and cultured loner who enjoys nothing more than tormenting his personal valet/servant, Thomas (Hayes), who later reveals his name is actually Matthew. Edward prefers to call him Thomas because he finds the name Matthew "too biblical". Edward enjoys drinking Kopi Luwak, one of the most expensive coffees in the world.nnDuring their time in the ward, both Carter and Edward seem to find common ground as they have intellectual personalities. Carter begins writing a "bucket list", or things to do before he "kicks the bucket" (i.e., dies). After hearing he has less than a year, Carter discards the list. Edward finds it the next morning and urges Carter to do everything on the list (and adds more things to do), and offers to finance the trip for both of them. Carter agrees, and despite the protests of his wife, Virginia (Todd), Edward and Carter begin their around-the-world vacation. They go skydiving together, drive a Shelby Mustang, fly over the North Pole, eat dinner at Chevre d'or in France, visit and praise the beauty and history of Taj Mahal, India, ride motorcycles on the Great Wall of China, attend a lion safari in Africa, and visit the base of Mt. Everest in Nepal(which was unfortunately shrouded in cloud).nnAtop the Great Pyramid, looking out over the pyramids of Khafre and Menkaure, they confide about faith and family, revealing that Carter has long been feeling less in love with his wife and that Edward is deeply hurt by his estrangement from his only daughter, who disowned him after he drove away her abusive husband. In Hong Kong, Edward hires a prostitute named Angelica (King) for Carter, who has never been with any woman but his wife. Carter declines and, realizing that he loves his wife, asks to return home. On the drive back, Carter reciprocates by trying to reunite Edward with his daughter. Believing it as a breach of trust, Edward angrily storms off. Carter returns home to his wife, children, and grandchildren where they have a nice family dinner telling stories and sharing jokes while a frustrated Edward stays home eating frozen dinners alone. The family reunion is short-lived. While preparing for a romantic interlude, Carter suffers a seizure and is rushed to the hospital. The cancer has spread to his brain.nnEdward, who is now in remission, visits him and they share a few moments, wherein Carter reveals with great amusement how the Kopi Luwak, which Edward enjoys, is grown in Sumatra, and then eaten and defecated by a jungle cat before being harvested because of the special aroma of the gastric juices. Carter crosses off "laugh till I cry" from his bucket list and insists Edward finish the list without him. Carter goes into surgery, but the procedure is unsuccessful and he dies on the operating table. As Carter dies and the news is given to his wife and family, Edward finally attempts to reconcile with his daughter. She accepts him back into her life and introduces him to the granddaughter he never knew he had. After greeting the little girl with a kiss on the cheek, Edward crosses "kiss the most beautiful girl in the world" off the list. Edward delivers a eulogy at the funeral, explaining that he and Carter had been complete strangers, but the last three months of Carter's life were the best three months of his. He crosses off "help a complete stranger for the good" from the list.nnThe epilogue reveals that Edward lived until age 81, and his ashes were then taken to the summit of an unnamed peak in the Himalayas by his assistant Matthew. As Matthew places a Chock full o'Nuts coffee can alongside another can, he crosses off the last item on the bucket list ("witness something truly majestic") and places it between the cans. Carter's narration reveals the two cans contain their ashes and that Edward would have loved this, because he was "buried on the mountain, and that was against the law."…More
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