Ever read a good book or see a good movie with good characters and the ending sucks?
My husband and I watched Country Strong. Good actors, conflict, music and then splat. I thought, oh, come on. You can’t be serious—after all that, someone is going to walk away from a contract like this? Right. Wait a minute, a comeback like this and she goes into her dressing room and does what? Please. I don’t care how good the rest of the movie was the ending ruined it all for me. It made me mad because it could have been excellent. I couldn’t figure out why it bombed at the box office—until the ending and then I understood.
My husband and I had quite a discussion regarding endings.
There are some movies I watch because I like the actor/actresses and usually they don’t act in crappy movies. Until recently any Nicolas Gage movie was one I watched. Now, I’m a bit more careful to look at the storyline first because of the next two movies.
City of Angels. Great cast, love Meg Ryan and Nicolas Gage, which is why I decided to watch it to begin with. Good premise. After all the two of them went through, she dies? Really? Major suckage. Had it been a book I would have thrown it across the room in disgust.
Then there was Knowing. Trailers looked good, actors were good, and lots of action (my kinda movie) and then the movie went to hell the last ten minutes. I felt robbed.
There are certain books that do the same. Nicolas Spark’s books. The Notebook was reasonable given the history and time frame. I’m not saying he’s a bad writer but I don’t like his style of telling a story. I really tried to read his others but ugh—ditto with the movies, excellent though the cast was. His books are not only no, but hell no. (Yes, I’m sure there are those who just love stories like his.)
The way I see it, and this is my opinion and my preferences only, when I see a movie or read a book, I want the bad guys get their asses kicked and the good guys win the day. If one of the main cast of characters has to die, make it count. Give me a reason. Even ordinary people facing extraordinary circumstances can be heroic though they die. A good example of that, in my opinion, was the movie Independence Day. The Randy Quaid character died. Another one was Armageddon, Bruce Willis is a main character and he sacrifices himself for his daughter’s sweetheart. Okay, I would have preferred them to remain alive but their deaths were logical and in line with the sort of characters they were. Their deaths counted. The good guys still won.
Evil loses, good wins. Yes, I know it’s not always the reality in life, but if I want a heavy dose of reality, I’ll turn on the news or read a newspaper. And please, don’t give me an ambiguous ending—which happens in some movies and literary pieces I’ve read. I don’t mind drawing my conclusions but at least make the ending positive enough so I can at see the hero or heroine is on a better path after all they’ve gone through
For me, no matter how good the book or the movie if the ending doesn’t deliver and isn’t satisfying, why bother? No, it doesn't have to be all sunshine and butterflies, but I like a good finale. I don’t want it rushed and slapdash and I want it to fit the strengths of the characters the author/writer has created.
- What about you? What are your thoughts on endings? What makes an ending good in your opinion?