Since I was a little girl and first heard Cinderella and Snow White I have believed that all stories must end happily. This belief obviously had a crash with reality somewhere in my teens when I realized that fairy tales are just that – tales. After a brief period of rebelling against fairy tales and stories with happy endings in general (the rebellion stage didn’t involve black make up and pink hair – just a heavy dose of Edgar Allen Poe) I slowly came to appreciate them again.
I mean seriously, if I wanted a story with a realistic ending I would watch the news or read the newspaper. I like fiction. But I like my fiction to be completely fictious. Sure everyone wonders what really happened to Cinderella and Prince Charming because “they lived happily ever after” leaves a lot to the imagination. But you’re not supposed to know about the “ever after.” The story you were told was how Cinderella with the help of her Fairy Godmother overcame her stepmother’s cruelty and married the man of her dreams. That story ended happily… and that’s what I like. The abiguity of what happened after they got married doesn’t concern me.
I like the total “chick flick” story of girl meets boy, girl and boy fall in love, some type of problem occurs where girl and boy split up, then girl and boy end up together riding off into the sunset. Or he carries her out of the paper factory in his dress white navy uniform and puts his combination hat on her head as they exit. I could list probably hundreds of my favorite movies or books that end this way. And they are my favorites because they are complete fairy tales. Let’s face it – in reality Richard Gere wouldn’t have come to terms with his friends death and made up with Louis Gosset Jr and realized he loved Debra Winger in a matter of days. In reality he would have been shipped out and realized 3 years later during some combat mission that he screwed up and then she would be married to some other guy. See that’s not a good story… it might be what would happen in the real world but it makes for a piss poor fairy tale. Actually it would fit into a Grimm Brother’s type fairy tale because there isn’t much fluff and fairy dust in the Grimm versions. I prefer Disney’s pink and taffeta, talking animals and singing versions.
Which brings me to my newest dilemma. It seems that lately all the movies I’ve seen or books I’ve read do not have happy endings. They have had real endings. The latest of which, Dear John by Nicholas Sparks, I stayed up reading until 230 in the morning to have reality smacked in my face. When you read Nicholas Sparks books you have about a 50/50 chance for a happy ending but I’ve come to the realization that if a Nicholas Sparks book is made into a movie it doesn’t have a happy ending (Dear John, Nights in Rodanthe, A Walk to Remember, The Notebook…). And they are good books and good movies but they don’t have happy endings.
Which leads to the next dilemma. When someone asks me if I liked the movie or the book I don’t know what to say. Yes I liked the characters and yes it was well written but to be honest no I didn’t like it because I wanted a different ending. Does the reader have that option? Sadly on February 5th I will still go to the Dear John movie – possibly because it stars Channing Tatum – even though I know I will not like it. Why? I have no idea. I think because there is some unwritten rule in my family that we must go see every sappy chick flick when it comes out.
As I was driving to work today I was thinking about this blog and started laughing at my choice of music. Country. Songs about losing your wife and your car and your dog …. most country songs don’t have happy endings but I listen to country music. Doesn’t make sense does it?
Hmm… now I have to end this blog happily……
Once upon a time there was a girl who liked fluffy chick flicks and girly fairy tales and she sat with a box of chocolates a bag of popcorn and watched An Officer and a Gentleman and she lived happily ever after.