I'm a big believer in Happy Endings. Well, duh. I'm a romance writer! Happy endings are a MUST in romance! While on writing break between the completion of my 2nd paranormal and November's NaNoWriMo, I'm catching up on my TBR pile as well as all those movies I didn't get to see over the spring and summer...as well as a few more that have slipped through the cracks over the years. And an alarming trend has started to fan my ire. With reading, this isn't a problem because I know my copy of J.R. Ward's Covet or Nora Roberts' Black Hills is absolutely, positively going to have a happy ending. But with movies? It's a real gamble. This is a major reason I rarely go to the movie theater anymore. Unless it's Harry Potter or the latest Jane Austen adaptation. I can't stand walking away from my $8 with nothing but a half-eaten bag of too-salty popcorn and major disappointment.
It all started with The Break Up. Yes, I KNOW it was called The Break Up. That's why there's a break up in the end. But I had some hope that Vince and Jenn would work things out in the end. If I'd written the frigging script, you can be darn sure they would've found some kind of compromise. Preferrably without the strippers and concert-ditching. Come on! It was supposed to be a romantic comedy. So why did I cry? And not in a good way.
Then there was Atonement. Oy vey. Keira Knightley was not only coming off Pirates with Johnny and Orlando but Pride & Prejudice with MacFayden, too, to be paired with Mr. Tumnus a.k.a. Mr. LeFroy a.k.a the dreamy Mr. McAvoy!!! All this boils down to Amber's supreme anticipation. I expected a sweeping, odds-defying, somewhat wrenching World War II romance. It's certainly possible - I WROTE ONE! Well, the most wrenching thing about this film was the fact that the story actually makes you believe for a time that they do in fact have a happy ending. Only - record scratching (literally) - nope! The narrator made it up to salve her own guilt. They didn't just not get their HEA. They both DIED. Horribly! I had to watch the entire Cap'n Jack collection and down half a bottle of wine just to feel better!!!
At the HeartLA Readers Luncheon this past weekend, author Cynthia Eden listed her reasons for reading romance. And yep, that guarenteed HEA came in first with much nodding and applauding of agreeance from everyone present. So I beseech moviemakers out there to take a leaf out of the billion-dollar romance industry. If you're going to make millions off your latest film, make your audience walk away feeling a bit better about the world. You can be dang sure that no happy ending equals no moolah out of my wallet for you. Who's with me? Whadaya say, readers? Seen any bad endings onscreen lately that made you want to take your $8 back? And this lady could definitely use a couple of guarenteed HEA's on her must-see list. Any recommendations?
*Since it's October, we're celebrating at The Roses of Prose this week with...National Popcorn Month! Didn't know about this one, did ya? No worries - I added a little Halloween-y treat: an exclusive excerpt from my paranormal Urban Secrets. To see how it fits into the whole Popcorn Month thing, read it here!