FAQ
It is currently Wed Apr 26, 2017 4:14 am


Author Message
marnixR
Post  Post subject: happy endings  |  Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 7:42 pm
User avatar

Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:35 pm
Posts: 4750
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Offline
to be fair, I don't mind movies with happy endings - what I do mind is that a story is wilfully distorted to come up with a happy ending, like if the story is based on a book like Agatha Christie's "Ten little niggers", and the movie so-called based on the book ends with 2 survivors, whereas the strength of the mystery is that no-one could have done it, but still everyone of the cast is dead in the end

likewise Ira Levin's "The Stepford wives": in the book Joanna comes a cropper, making the book even more sinister - however, the movie based on the film changes robots into brainwashed women, which obviously allows a happy ending of reverting what is an irreversible situation in the book

likewise the 2 versions of "Night of the bodysnatchers": the one where everyone is turned into an alien copy is far more convincing than the one where the hero of the story survives intact

so the question is: why does Hollywood keep doing this sort of thing ? Is it because feelgood films sell better than those with everyone dead at the end ?

I mean, if Hollywood was to redo King Lear or one of Wagner's operas, would so many of the protagonists die in the movie ?

_________________
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
"Someone is WRONG on the internet" (xkcd)


Top
iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: happy endings  |  Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 8:35 pm
User avatar
Original Member
Original Member

Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:40 pm
Posts: 5493
Location: Austin, Texas

Offline
People go to the theater in large part to escape the drudgery and despairs of daily life. Suspect leaving happy is a better approach to getting them to return and spend more money in the future than having them leave feeling sad, dejected, and generally worse than they felt upon entry.

It's a bit like making sure the dessert is fabulous at a restaurant. You don't want their last bite to have been a sadness inducing disappointment.

_________________
iNow

"[Time] is one of those concepts that is profoundly resistant to a simple definition." ~C. Sagan


Top
Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: happy endings  |  Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 8:50 pm
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 07, 2014 6:02 am
Posts: 1895

Offline
It depends upon how realistic it is. You have to be a moron to enjoy a completely implausible happy ending. I enjoy the happy ending to Jane Eyre, for example, because most of the rest of the book is morose and is leading up to a deserved happiness. And it's not crazy that a man should love a woman ;)

_________________
If you are doomed to be boring - make it short. Andre Geim


Top
Falconer360
Post  Post subject: Re: happy endings  |  Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 10:05 pm
User avatar
Original Member
Original Member

Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 10:30 pm
Posts: 962
Location: Somewhere in the Great State of Washington

Offline
^If I could give both comments above me a like I would

Like Inow said, giving a movie a happy ending at times is a marketing strategy to ensure returns. Although I would say that another aspect of it is that in today's film industry the focus seems to be generating universes and sequels not standalone films. And since that is the focus, it's a lot harder to build that up if the first movie ended in a sad way.

However, they definitely shouldn't resort to lame or confusing plot devices to engineer an artificial happy ending though. A good example of this is the movie Dodgeball. After doing most of the filming the producers decided that the movie needed a happy ending despite the director wanting it to end with them failing. So they made a really lame plot twist for the heroes to all come out happy in the end.

_________________
"For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampled." Hunter S Thompson
"It is easy to kill someone with a slash of a sword. It is hard to be impossible for others to cut down" - Yagyu Munenori


Top
marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: happy endings  |  Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 10:31 pm
User avatar

Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:35 pm
Posts: 4750
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Offline
another sadly predictable thing in movies is that more often than not the baddies get their comeuppance and the goodies survive all odds
I think it was in another thread that someone remarked how the baddies were such bad shooters that they never once hit one of the good ones, whereas to beggar belief one shot from a goodie is sufficient to kill a baddie without fail

where are the films where one of the major characters who's nit a baddie dies halfway through the film?

_________________
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
"Someone is WRONG on the internet" (xkcd)


Top
Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: happy endings  |  Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 11:21 pm
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 07, 2014 6:02 am
Posts: 1895

Offline
A related phenomenon in real life: the excessive happy ending obsession. Like, if someone has had all four limbs amputated, more likely than not they will tell you, "it's the best thing that ever happened to me!"

I get that a major part of life, to keep us semi-sane, is the creation of meaning and forging of identity in a world that is ultimately purposeless. But three things bother me about the excessive optimism:

(i) the lack of originality - perhaps some of these people really do feel positively transformed, but I'll bet you many have been conditioned to churn out a positive narrative

(ii) implication that we are not allowed to acknowledge the negative - if you can and do feel positive in spite of tragedy, then great, but perhaps that all-singing, all-dancing subculture generates guilt or shame in those who really just feel pain, grief, loss

(iii) the insinuation that negative experiences cannot possibly be meaningful unless transformed, either naturally or artificially, into a "happy" narrative

_________________
If you are doomed to be boring - make it short. Andre Geim


Top
Falconer360
Post  Post subject: Re: happy endings  |  Posted: Fri Dec 23, 2016 12:12 am
User avatar
Original Member
Original Member

Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 10:30 pm
Posts: 962
Location: Somewhere in the Great State of Washington

Offline
marnixR wrote:
where are the films where one of the major characters who's nit a baddie dies halfway through the film?

Most of the main characters in the movie Attack the Block died. But you raise a good point that in Western shows and movies the good guys never suffer lasting real damage and the bad guys get what is coming to them. That's one thing I do like about Japanese anime, in a lot of them there isn't a happy ending. Maybe the good guys succeeded overall, but they paid heavy prices and now have to live with that for their success. Shows like Death Note, Gundam (various series), Fullmetal Alchemist, Deadman Wonderland, Elfen Lied, and Cowboy Bebop are a few that fall far from the traditional happy story for the heroes.

Rory - Living in a very Christian area I see that sort of thing a lot. They put a happy spin on every bad thing that happens to them. Everything is a blessing. I think it's a coping mechanism for them. Personally, if I had to have limbs amputated I would not be happy about it. I would learn to joke about it, but never think of it as a blessing or a positive thing. Unless of course I end up with some sort of super badass prosthetic.

_________________
"For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampled." Hunter S Thompson
"It is easy to kill someone with a slash of a sword. It is hard to be impossible for others to cut down" - Yagyu Munenori


Top
iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: happy endings  |  Posted: Fri Dec 23, 2016 12:30 am
User avatar
Original Member
Original Member

Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:40 pm
Posts: 5493
Location: Austin, Texas

Offline
Movies also tend to represent the broader themes and morals we want to experience in society... the good guys winning, the bad guys losing, the hard work paying off or the insecure guy getting the beautiful girl. Movies are reflections of the deeper desires most of us feel internally.

_________________
iNow

"[Time] is one of those concepts that is profoundly resistant to a simple definition." ~C. Sagan


Top
marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: happy endings  |  Posted: Fri Dec 23, 2016 8:25 am
User avatar

Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:35 pm
Posts: 4750
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Offline
Falconer360 wrote:
Rory - Living in a very Christian area I see that sort of thing a lot. They put a happy spin on every bad thing that happens to them. Everything is a blessing. I think it's a coping mechanism for them. Personally, if I had to have limbs amputated I would not be happy about it. I would learn to joke about it, but never think of it as a blessing or a positive thing. Unless of course I end up with some sort of super badass prosthetic.


in a Christian environment, there's the added complication trying to explain evil, or bad things happening to good people - if you put some spin on it to explain the bad situation you're in then you're halfway there

_________________
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
"Someone is WRONG on the internet" (xkcd)


Top
Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: happy endings  |  Posted: Fri Dec 23, 2016 10:57 am
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 07, 2014 6:02 am
Posts: 1895

Offline
The fact that movies artificially construct "good guys" and "bad guys" also speaks to our collective psychological yearning for explicit, binary mental constructs of our frustratingly labyrinthine social reality.

_________________
If you are doomed to be boring - make it short. Andre Geim


Top
marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: happy endings  |  Posted: Fri Dec 23, 2016 6:10 pm
User avatar

Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:35 pm
Posts: 4750
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Offline
I'd go as far as saying that in real life there's very few people who are al good and all bad

_________________
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
"Someone is WRONG on the internet" (xkcd)


Top
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Print view

Who is online
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
Jump to:   


Delete all board cookies | The team | All times are UTC


This free forum is proudly hosted by ProphpBB | phpBB software | Report Abuse | Privacy