These moments of tenderness feel so piercingly clear because they exist, in tandem, with an honest (if, of course, comedically exaggerated) representation of a man who is curdled with depression. Willie isn’t George Bailey, or even John McClane, a fundamentally good man driven to the brink, and then coaxed back from it — he’s a grade-A jerk. If anything, that makes his goodwill toward men (or, at least, one kid) even more meaningful: It’s not in his nature to show kindness, and yet, he muddles through somehow. Because, loathe though he’d be to admit it, it’s the right thing to do. During the final heist, right before the police chase that will end with him getting plugged in the back, Willie stops to steal the one toy that Thurman really wants: a stuffed pink elephant. The simplicity of the gift is poignant, given Thurman’s wealth and the fact he’s a little too old for it — but the fact that Willie even remembers it, let alone risks his neck for it, is a sign that his Grinch heart has grown three sizes. And that growth comes honestly, without raindrops and roses and whiskers on kittens. It’s raw. It’s real. Even if poor Mr. Elephant does end up razed by bullets in the end.