When reading a romance, most people want –
no – demand a happy ending. But, when it
comes to romantic movies – audiences can be completely satisfied even when the
couple never gets their HEA.
When Robert Redford played a two-timing, ‘take
it where he can get it,’ kind of guy, who eventually flew off never to return
in “Out of Africa” – Audiences didn’t stomp out of the theater asking for a
refund because Meryl was left standing alone at his grave site.
And again, Meryl didn’t get her man in “Bridges
of Madison County”. The romance lasted three days, and she was left with working
the farm and her memories. After many
more years all she had left was a dead husband, a dead lover – and then – poof,
she dies and her children are spilling her ashes over a bridge. Women across America, including myself, cried their eyes out, but we still loved the film.
And let’s not forget “The Way We Were”.
Barbara Streisand loses Robert Redford because she’s got a viewpoint about life
and takes a stand. He never even sees his daughter once she gives birth. But we
not only love the film, each time the radio plays “Memories” we’re back with
Streisand and Redford, loving it all over again.
So why is it we demand a HEA from the romances we
read, but are perfectly happy when we don’t get them in a film?