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    Are We Hypocrites?
  • Author:
  • Published: Aug 30th, 2007

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?

9 Responses to “Are We Hypocrites?”

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  1. Kim
    on Aug 30th, 2007
    @ 7:17 am

    Actually, I HATE movies that don’t have a HEA. I was just talking about this with the owner of our local video store. We have very differing views on Premonition. He loves it. I hate it and want my money back. I hated Bridges of Madison County too. The others I haven’t seen yet. So, nope, I’m not a hypocrite. I demand a HEA everywhere, all the time!


  2. Gannon Carr
    on Aug 30th, 2007
    @ 7:54 am

    I guess it depends on the movie. For the most part, I truly want a happy ending. But take Shakespeare In Love for an example; Viola and Will must part in the end. Definitely not a happy ending! I cried profusely, but I loved the movie.


  3. Andrea
    on Aug 30th, 2007
    @ 8:04 am

    Good point, Maria! I must say that while I’m not overly fond of movies that don’t have a HEA, I don’t necessarily hate them either. Perhaps the reason is because I can watch a movie and know that it’s make-believe, but while reading a book, I like to invision it as being “real”….or at least “real to me”. Does that make sense? lol


  4. Buffie
    on Aug 30th, 2007
    @ 9:53 am

    I really don’t care to watch movies that do not have the HEA aspect. What’s the point? There are enough unhappy endings in real life, I don’t need to spend my spare time watching it. I even hated that fact that in Mrs. Doubtfire the parents didn’t get back together — and that movie is more about the kids and their relationship with their Dad.


  5. Maria Lokken
    on Aug 30th, 2007
    @ 10:19 am

    Ladies – all good points. While I did write that I watch films without an HEA – there is one disclaimer – SOMMERSBY. I literally fell off my seat in the theater screaming “NOOOOO” when they hung him!


  6. MaryKate
    on Aug 30th, 2007
    @ 2:15 pm

    Definitely count me in the grouping as hates the non-Happy Ending. Unless…I know about it. For example, I knew Cold Mountain was not going to end well. Still loved it. Cried buckets, but loved it.

    IMHO, unless a film is marketed as a romance, a viewer can’t expect an HEA. It’s not the nature of the beast. The very nature of romance is the guarantee of an HEA. Otherwise it’s chick lit, or some other genre.

    That being said, the movie Catch & Release made me crazy. Jennifer Garner’s character ended up with the wrong guy, IMHO. It totally infuriated me.

    I guess it’s in the approach. Romance novel, you betcha there better be an HEA. Movie, not so much.


  7. Janga
    on Aug 30th, 2007
    @ 5:58 pm

    I think it is the contract. With most of the movies mentioned, I didn’t go in expecting an HEA. If a movie is billed as a romantic comedy and ends unhappily, I feel as betrayed as I would with HEAless romances. But with books and movies both, I generally make sure I know the end before I begin. 🙂


  8. KeiraSoleore
    on Sep 1st, 2007
    @ 10:13 am

    When I read a romance novel, I do expect–no, demand–a HEA. But when I see a movie, even one billed as a romantic tale, a HEA is optional–the journey the two take is important. I liked “Bridges of Madison County” and I liked “Out of Africa.”


  9. KeiraSoleore
    on Sep 1st, 2007
    @ 10:13 am

    When I read a romance novel, I do expect–no, demand–a HEA. But when I see a movie, even one billed as a romantic tale, a HEA is optional–the journey the two take is important. I liked “Bridges of Madison County” and I liked “Out of Africa.”

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