Friday, February 27, 2009

Sick of Winter and Unhappy endings

Working on: Chapter Five of CBTC
Listening to: The Most Relaxing Classical Album in the World...Ever
Reading: North and South

I felt the need for some relaxing classical this morning as I am very out of sorts. First of all, I need some breakfast before I do the yucky chore of banking. There's the fact that the husband is on the road too. A funny thing happens every time my husband travels. It's a phenomenon even greater than Il Nino in my opinion and the neighbours are starting to agree. Every time he goes away, we have a weather event. Even last summer, it would manifest in tropical storms, hurricanes, thunderstorms that knocked out power...and his absence every single time. But winter has been horrendous. It doesn't matter if he's gone 36 hours, in the middle we'll have a bout of snow or freezing rain or howling winds that knock out power. I am thoroughly sick of it.

This time the forecast looked clear right through to his return and we thought maybe this would break the cycle. Oh, how glib we were. The forecast for the weekend is horrendous. Tomorrow - rain. Sunday - about 6 inches of snow. Monday - another 6 inches. Tuesday - somewhere between 8-12 inches. Add it all up - yep, we could have close to 2 feet of snow. I know snow is expected in my neck of the woods (unlike my friends in the UK) but this is a lot even for us. Not to mention potential snow days from school. The possibility of power outages and the driveway to keep plowed out. IMO He just needs to stop going away. So in all actuality, I am dreading the mess of the next four or five days.

The other thing that has set me off is that I am getting sick of watching movies with bad endings. I've blogged several times already about watching movies where it ends but there is no actual ending. The story just drops off and it drives me mad. Well even more than that, I get really ticked when there is no happy ending.

Of course I know the whole art imitates life thing and that life doesn't have happy endings all the time so if movies are to be a reflection...to that I say blah, blah, blah. If I take 2 hours out of my life to kick back with a movie, by all means I don't mind if you make me think, but at least give me the payoff in the end. In this I support the Hollywood machine all the way. The principle is simple: guy gets the girl, good triumphs over evil. It isn't that hard of a concept. It starts to feel like these depressing endings are in themselves a contrivance in an effort to make things more "artistic" and "literary" and I think it's a load of claptrap. I'm sorry. At the end of the day I want to be uplifted.

Imagine Dirty Dancing and Baby saying, "You're right Johnny, it doesn't matter what you do...they fired you anyway." And then ending the movie. Johnny gone, Baby left feeling like it's not worth it to stand up for other people, love story cut off at the knees. Lovely optimistic statement, yeah?

I watched Atonement last year and no, I hadn't read the book. But I was meh over the movie and totally let down by the ending. What was the point. Oh yes, right. There IS no point, what an elevated way of thinking. YUCK.

If you haven't seen PARTITION, don't read any further because I'm going to spoil it for you if you do.

So PARTITION is what has set me off this morning and I think it's because I absolutely loved it up until the last 10 minutes. It is GORGEOUS. Beautifully acted...Jimi Mistry is amazing...loved seeing John Light (Hello, Henry Lennox!), Neve Campbell okay, Kristin Kruek a surprise though looking a bit gaunt. But stunningly shot and a compelling, beautiful love story.

The whole time you want this to work out, this beautiful, larger-than-life-and-differences love for each other and their gorgeous son. But oh no. Heaven forbid we have a happy ending. It was a simple choice. Throw the bad guy in front of the train. Seriously. For GOD'S SAKE, don't kill off the hero. But that's what they did, and ended with some supposedly significant narration about his ashes being spread around some stupid tree and the tree making new trees and I couldn't give a good damn. I felt COMPLETELY RIPPED OFF, especially after I invested myself in it.

Here's my alternate ending: stupid bad guy/heroine's brother dies, they stumble on to the train together with their son, and since they can neither live in India or Pakistan really (the partition) they go to England as a family, not just the heroine, who is there with her son at the end. It's really not a difficult thing. Hell, if you want significance, how about the idea that being from different "places" left them no place and they had to make their way to another land?

This is why I'm a romance author I suppose. I want to be uplifted. I want hope - not the death of hope or the exhaustion of futility. If the point is THERE IS NO POINT, then sorry...I'm not interested.

And that was a really long rant.

If any of you know of movies that I shouldn't watch because of unhappy endings, please let me know in the comments.

7 comments:

  1. My favourite feel good film is 'Music and Lyrics'. Have you seen it? it's a romcom with great dialogue and always cheers me up if I'm feeling bleurghh.

    Hope the weather is better than expected.

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  2. I thought you were going to say 'The Sound of Music', Lorraine! Although it is one of my most favourite films, it's ending might not be quite what Donna is looking for.

    I love the film Overboard with Goldie Hawn, but then I have a strange sense of humour.

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  3. I did Music And Lyrics for a reel review not that long ago - not my fave film but I did get a kick out of it. It made me laugh.

    And The Sound of Music is one of my favourite films ever!

    It was still an uplifting ending. They were together and searching for a new life. It doesn't even have to be a "and they lived happily ever after". But I truly need possibility rather than the death of possibility, you know? Kill off the hero and any hope of growing old together doesn't really work.

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  4. I thought 'Atonement' was beautifully written but sooo sad. I'd much rather beautifully written and uplifting.

    HEA's are definitely underrated but obviously popular given the sales of romance fiction!

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  5. Usually I would be completely in agreement with you, Donna, but recently I watched just one movie that had the happy Hollywood ending, and it just did NOT suit the movie. I wished they'd ended five minutes earlier.

    The movie was called "S#x and Death 101" and starred that gorgeous Aussie, Simon Baker. It was a black comedy, very tongue-in-cheek, and the HEA just did not fit with the rest of the movie.

    Even "Casablanca" had an upbeat ending, even though it wasn't the one we all wanted.

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  6. Nina in Ohio3:50 PM

    Donna,

    I live in Ohio and am as sick of winter as you are. I'm up by Lake Erie so we get the "Lake Effect" which means we have more cloudy days than Seattle. I really hate the color gray anymore ;-)

    And I am right there with ya on Unhappy Endings. Who needs those? Real life is hard enough, I want to watch a movie and be happy at the end of it! That's why, although I think Nicholas Sparks is a good writer, I hate to read his stories. Usually someone dies and the ending is not a happy one. I wanted to re-shoot the ending of Message in a Bottle. And I won't go see Nights in Rodanthe for that very reason. I do like The Notebook, however, and the film is excellent.

    Check out 27 Dresses for a fun movie with a cute hero. I love the fact that Jane doesn't even like Kevin in the beginning of the movie. And Kathryn Heigl and James Marsden did such good jobs with their characters.

    Also loved The Wedding Date & Under the Tuscan Sun. I also liked The Family Stone, although it had sad moments as well.

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  7. Romy - I agree, the ending has to be appropriate for the movie. I'm trying to think if there are some that aren't happy that I have...well, I guess you could look at Pearl Harbour. In a true happy ending everyone would have made it. It was bittersweet, don't you think?

    Nina- 27 Dresses, Wedding Date AND Under the Tuscan Sun - seen 'em and UtTS is my favourite of the three. I love Diane Lane. And I haven't read any Sparks but I did watch The Notebook and loved it. I think the thing was, Allie and Noah had their HEA when they were younger and the ending was just beautiful.

    Maybe I'm feeling the slightest bit better about movies now. :-) Not feeling any better about the forecast though!

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