Friday, June 22, 2012

The Ultimate Unsatisfying Ending

So I’m on alert last night and as I often do on alert I found an offbeat movie to watch.  It’s a stranger than normal movie with a combination of subtitles and English speaking parts and a lot of dialogue.  The main characters are two broken people who find each other and start to fall in love despite their shitty lives, but of course they are lying to each other and keeping dark secrets.  ***SPOILER ALERT*** I give away the ending and the movie title at the bottom.  But really you don’t want to waste your time on this one. 
It’s a great writing tactic to let the reader/watcher know what a character should do, but is too stupid or hard-headed to do and you are hoping beyond hope that they will pull their head out and do the right thing.  The writer has two ways to go with this ultimately.  You can give the satisfying finish where they actually end up finally making the right choice and or you can go the crappy way and have it go horribly wrong when they can’t or won’t make the right decision. 
It took me awhile to get into this thing.  The characters were really into wallowing in their self-absorbing pity and loved to talk around their issues.  And boy did they talk.  But it had finally reached a point where their love for each other was becoming evident and they were opening up to each other.  They were on the verge of making that ultimately right choice.  It had a very touching moment between the female lead and her mother, which was shared by the new boyfriend.  It was a validating moment and emotionally charged in all the right ways.  It was really well done.  I even said to myself, “Wow, that was cool.  I wonder where the writer is going to derail this; it’s going way too smoothly.”  I was finally completely bought in.  I am kind of a sap for heroic stories or well done love stories.  I knew there had to be a set back at this point, just to add some drama and tension that would allow for a great conclusion.
Well, I was right, literally the next scene added the drama, but it was a lesson in how not to do it in my humble opinion.  They drove it right off the cliff.  I mean Hindenburg horrible.  This little drama suddenly morphed into a weird variation on Romeo and Juliet where they both end up killing themselves over misunderstandings and lies.  I guess there is a faction out there that thinks it’s more “ARTSY” to have a tragic ending.  You know, I can see a surprise ending being cool, or maybe one of them killing themselves or dying, but the way it was done felt like they were driving down the road and suddenly out of nowhere a stranger just appears in the car and grabs the wheel and pulls it hard left and off a cliff that they were driving alongside.   We knew the cliff was there, they were after all broken characters, but it was abrupt and ridiculous and furiously unsatisfying.  It ruined the few good moments the movie had.   The guy who wrote this was also the lead actor and he has a history of self-indulgent highbrow attempts to be an “important” actor/writer.  He missed the mark yet again.  His acting is fine, but the writing, not so much.  If you haven’t figured it out the movie is After Fall, Winter.  Again I say don’t waste your time.
I’ve said it before, I hate crappy endings and this movie is the king of crappy endings.   I WILL NEVER WRITE A STORY LIKE THI$!!!1111   EVER!  You have my guarantee.
Clear Ether!

4 comments:

  1. That's good to know! And it's why I like romances. I know I'll get my happy ending. Now, you tell me it's a love story, and I'll hesitste to read, because love stories tend to end tragically, and that ain't no fun to read (or watch)!

    By the way - I sent you my manuscript. Hope you got it okay. If not, let me know!!

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    1. If that is the definition of Love Story then I can't stand them.

      I'm through chapter 3 and really enjoying it so far!

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  2. That's kind of how I felt after reading Message in a Bottle. LOL.

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    1. I really hate bad endings, after getting invested in a character it feels lie the rug gets pulled out from under you. My wife hated Message in a Bottle too, Sonia, I didn't read it.

      Thanks for the comment!

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