Sad/happy/bittersweet endings

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Miss Chicken, Nov 30, 2013.

  1. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'd say that's true. Haven't seen The Road, but the description of the ending on Wikipedia tells me I'd hate it.

    Similar offender: No Country For Old Men. A good first half, or even two thirds, and then utterly ruined by the last act.
     
  2. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Everyone loses a fight against death eventually. Those stories shouldn't be off-limits. Somebody in some movie even said "How we face death is as least as important as how we face life."

    Unless it is the end. For every winner there's a loser, and it is not always the good guys. Some struggles come up short, but we often learn more from defeat from winning. You may not like it personally, but it's a perfectly valid kind of story.

    Disagreed. The last third elevates it from a fairly engaging chase movie to a personal story that approaches cinematic greatness.

    For a great take on "Hollywood happy endings" I'd recommend Robert Altman's The Player, 1992.
     
  3. rhubarbodendron

    rhubarbodendron Commodore Commodore

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    Guilty as charged. I prefer happy ends because life is terrible enough. I want a little happiness at least in fiction.
    I don't know why they do it but they even alter Grimm's fairy tales! In the original texts the evil guys get burned to death, drawn and quartered or put into barrels with nails and rolled down a hill. Snowwhite's stepmom must dance in red-hot iron shoes till she drops dead. In the American versions they are just left behind when their victims escape.
    Maybe - but that's only a speculation - altering things helps Americans to feel that those things belong to them. By changing them they make them theirs. And maybe there's just a tiny hint of we-can-do-everything-better-than-you attitude.
    *ducks and waits for flying pies from across the Atlantic*
    Perhaps the last episode of VOY. It was a bit too artificial in my opinion. The writers tried desperately to tie all lose ends up and the result was a big tuft intead of a smooth yarn.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2013
  4. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I totally agree.

    I mean, I don't expect to ever see happy endings; I'm just happy when, by some stroke of luck, we get some. As you say, life is bad enough. Fiction should be uplifting!
     
  5. rhubarbodendron

    rhubarbodendron Commodore Commodore

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    that's propably why Trek and Star Wars are still so popular: the goodies always win, no matter what the odds are.
     
  6. Velocity

    Velocity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I prefer my entertainment to make me laugh or at the very least to not depress me. There is enough nastiness and depressing news in life, I choose to be amused and try to pick entertainment that does that.
     
  7. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I always wondered why people watch something that disturbs and depresses them.
     
  8. sidious618

    sidious618 Admiral Admiral

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    I like ambiguous, bittersweet, or sad endings quite a bit. Happy endings are fine in certain circumstances, but I normally find them to be a bit of a lie and I don't think they're particularly helpful. When I see a movie that touches me or disturbs me, I'm having a real experience, one that will no doubt touch my life in some regard. The ending of Mulholland Drive absolutely slays me every time and I find it transcendent. I would never want to see a happy ending version of that film.
     
  9. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    I like happy/sad endings. Like, endings that are so happy that they make me cry. Like the last episode of LOST, where I started crying 5 separate times.
     
  10. GalaxyX

    GalaxyX Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Reminds me of The Core. Ridiculous idea, where pretty much every single character dies except for the 2 main characters, because they are each respective love interests.

    But I can't, off the top of my head, think of a more depressing movie than "My Girl".

    Who the fuck thinks killing the girl's only friend while everything else in the girl's life is going to shit was a good idea?
     
  11. Kestrel

    Kestrel Vice Admiral Admiral

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    "What's good about sad?" "It's happy for deep people." ;)

    On the other hand, I do love a good happy ending too.
     
  12. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    :techman:
     
  13. sidious618

    sidious618 Admiral Admiral

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    That's great! I love it.
     
  14. GalaxyX

    GalaxyX Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I guess I'll stay shallow, or dumb, or whatever. I watch/read stories to be entertained. Watching tragic shit happening with no hope of resolution pisses me off. I don't pay to be depressed. I can turn on the evening news to do that for free.
     
  15. Miss Chicken

    Miss Chicken Little three legged cat with attitude Premium Member

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    I think it is much easier to admire the human spirit in watching how people deal with adversity including death and pain. Inappropiate happy endings annoy me because they lessen the impact of how people have to deal with adversity.
     
  16. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    @sidious: How can happy endings be a lie? This is FICTION we're talking about. ;)

    Unless the happy ending involves cake of course...
     
  17. Kestrel

    Kestrel Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^^ Of course, taken too far it's just as annoying to be told the things you like are inferior because obviously the only things that happen in life are sadness and despair, and we should never hope for or expect anything better.

    Sally Sparrow, always ready with the right words. :D
     
  18. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It really depends on the medium. I do like to read ambiguity into happy endings, I mean ROTJ ends happily, everything blown up, medals.. but there's still legions of armed ships and troopers out there, and planets controlled by the empire and and the Jedi are still gone. What comes next?
     
  19. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored The Mod Awakens Moderator

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    While I prefer happy endings in general, I enjoy a good unhappy ending every once in a while because they make the happy endings all the more satisfying. If everything was predetermined to be a happy ending the predictability of it all would dampen the suspense when our heroes are in danger. There has to be consequences sometimes in order for the threat of those consequences to have any meaning or implied danger.

    Some films would just be fairly conventional with a happy ending, or at least an ending where the villain doesn't win or accomplish his goals. Imagine Seven or The Usual Suspects or Arlington Road without their downbeat endings? They'd hardly be memorable. The endings made those films. Which is not to say throwing in a bad guy wins bummer ending always works. Lots of films tried to copy the formula and failed miserably. But in the hands of the right writers and directors it can turn the pedestrian into the remarkable.

    Oh, and just to toss another Cruise scifi film into the bonfire of unhappy endings, everything that happens after Chief Anderton is lowered into the prison chamber and the white light flashes in Minority Report is just him dreaming while he's in an induced coma in the prison for the rest of his life. Lamar (Max von Sydow) successfully frames Anderton and gets away with the murder of Agatha's mother, PreCrime continues to put away innocents and is expanded across the whole country, and the PreCogs remain enslaved and abused.

    The key is the line from the prison caretaker:
    "They say you have visions. That your life flashes before your eyes. That all your dreams come true."

    Anderton's visions after the white light were of catching the man responsible for framing him and murdering Agatha's mother, freeing the PreCogs from enslavement and closing PreCrime, and reconciling with his wife and having another child. All his dreams came true.
     
  20. Velocity

    Velocity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I agree about the "My Girl" movie.


    My sister had lost her 7 yr old son to leukemia and several months later went to this movie because the advertisements looked cute. Bad, bad choice.
     

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