Hello my lovelies,
I mentioned in my last post that sometimes I find it hard relating to or enjoying a film or book with a cliche ‘Everything worked out fine’ kind of ending. As a reader of a book or a viewer of a film, I enjoy the story lines or I wouldn’t be reading or watching. I just feel like when someone makes the choice to read a book or watch a film, that is them investing their time and attention into something and I feel like they deserve a real ending.
Here are a few reasons why I don’t want to be given a happy ending at the end of a book or a film.
Happy endings are unrealistic. Let’s say that I am 3/4 of the way through a book and we are still in chaos, everything is still up in the air and we are tying ends and solving problems at a slow rate. This is realistic. Turning a page to find that, suspiciously suddenly and quite miraculously, a plane got the guy to the airport just in time or he fell out of love with his current girlfriend and was head over heels for the protagonist or the protagonist’s boss rang her and offered her job back is NOT realistic. It’s as if the author is close to their word count target and built these huge bridges to tie up any loose ends to get it all over with. Life doesn’t work like that. You just leave the reader/viewer like ‘Whoa, where did that come from?!’ Walk me through properly and tell me how this really ended.
This makes the plot unrelatable and, in turn, we lose the connection we had with the characters. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad the characters are all happy but that wouldn’t happen in real life, not to anyone. Happiness takes work and problems don’t suddenly disappear. Pushing these endings down people’s throats will encourage unrealistic and unattainable expectations of life.
What else usually happens in a happy ending? Well, it’s obvious, the good guys win and the bad guys go down. Fabulous. If only it were true. In real life the average person does not suddenly become wealthy and happy and bad people don’t suddenly lose everything and get what they deserve. In fact, it is often quite the opposite; the bad person will thrive because they don’t care about trampling people and because they got better opportunities than the little person. That’s a real ending. Don’t tell me that the protagonist got to see the bad guy suffer from loss of anything. Tell me that the bad guy still got everything that they wanted but that’s okay because the good guy is comfortable with his/her identity and remains true to themselves. The character undergoing a sudden change and becoming the person they’ve always envied isn’t a happy ending, it’s a loss of who they are, it’s them succumbing to something different and external to them.
Ultimately, I know why people like happy endings. It sells. People are fed up of their own reality and pick up a book or watch a film for entertainment. They don’t want to be sold their own story of life, they want someone else’s because it is better and entertains and amuses them, I do get it, I’m a girl who loves RomComs herself from time to time. I’m just saying that it isn’t real and I think that I want that more…
It’s important to note that it’s not the happiness that I disagree with, I want that for the characters as with people, it’s just that I don’t agree with the traditional, unrealistic endings. I don’t want to be told that a prince came along and saved her, I want to hear that the princess fixed herself instead of relying on someone else. I don’t want to hear that they fell in love unexpectedly and everything was perfect, I want to hear that it didn’t quite work out but that’s life and that’s okay because love will come around again and they’re less afraid but wiser this time round. I don’t want to hear that the character with an illness miraculously recovered, I want to hear that they came to terms with death. I don’t want to hear that the protagonist knew it all by the end, I want to hear that she still had a few things to work out so she went on a trip to find herself and it’s perfectly okay that she hasn’t got it all figured out yet.
Don’t give me your miraculous happy endings, give me something real because that’s what I aspire for. It doesn’t have to be impossibly perfect because life isn’t, it’s messy and problems are more complicated than a quick fix ending. Being okay at the end is enough though and that’s what I want to hear; that’s what I want books and films to reflect.
This opinion won’t be for everyone. But it’s honest and it’s real to me.