rings

Happy Endings

Do me a favor. Go through in your head the romantic movies you like.

Now try and come up with one where the ending doesn’t involve someone getting engaged, married or into a relationship. I’m guessing you’re going to come up close to empty. But there are. Here are some honorable mentions – What Dreams May Come, Autumn in New York, Amelie, City of Angels, 500 days of summer. In books, there’s Romeo & Juliet (Shakespeare), The Time Traveler’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger), Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas (James Patterson) and talking bout Nicholas, there’s Nicholas Sparks (need i say more?). And in TV series, there’s Prison Break.

The thing is, the movies that have a happy ending have just that – an ending.  The story finishes when everything’s looking great – two people are just about to embark on some great adventure together and we can believe that nothing but the best will happen to them.  There’s no need for the movie to show the day-to-day tedium of being in a relationship, or any of the inevitable and possibly relationship-ending changes people go through.

No, the movies get to end things on a high note after 2 hours or so, and we as an audience get to suspend our disbelief and think that everything really will be happily ever after. Just like a fairy tale. How sweet.

But then again, in real life, fairy tales does matter. Because they are both prisons and free, open spaces. We can imprison people in fairy tales – just look at Disney’s “Princess Collection.” Think of all the young girls who grow up experiencing reality through that lens. Thinking, “This is what reality must be like, this is how I should grow up, I should be just like these Princesses.”

Ok let’s sidetrack a little. I was surfing when i chance upon this. Lol.

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Jokes (or not) aside, on the contrary, we can also free people by fairy tales. Why do new regimes (Soviet Russia, or Industrial Age England) and new social movements (Feminism, Marxism) move to create new fairy tales & chick flicks? Because they are trying to create new realities, and creating new fairy tales is a way to do that on both a personal and societal level.  Some people might argue that fairy tales matter because through them, we can understand our history. After all, the Grimm’s’ fairy tales tell us something about the history of German nationalism and romanticism, and also about the history of German language and literature.

We need fairy tales not because we need to understand ourselves, but because we need to understand, and change society. Through these tales, we are shaping the way that we view society, and at the same time putting the control to change society within our grasp. This is why we each have an affinity with certain tales.

It’s truly a great trick that people can play those fairy-tale story plots in movies or books, and end it perfectly when everything’s looking great. But really, over time people will find that it will not abode well  for them in real life.  Because you can’t just press pause the moment everything works out as you’d hoped.  Life goes on, and those perfect moments aren’t glorified with credits rolling or epilogue while an inspiring song plays, they become mere moments that get lost in all the other things we have going on in our lives.

The mistake was not to believe in the tale, you should believe in yourself. Always. Totally. The mistake is to forget you are living a story, your own real story, with twists and turns, one that will eventually lead to more irrational decisions and butterfly sensations. And of course, one that will end in one big fat happy ending.

Some people would argue that romantic movies matter because they tell us something about ourselves. They matter because we can discover ourselves within them, because they are a part of us, because they are related to our inner psyches. We can’t prove or disprove this idea. But it’s shaky at best.

Think about this. Most romantic movies have happy endings. Same goes for porn. (yup, porn sure does have ‘happy endings’ … if you know what I mean..lol). But that’s not the only common thing about them.

Romantic movies give women unrealistic expectations about what to expect from men. Porn has the same effect on men.

What movies and stories have taught me over these years is that true love is rare, so rare and so good that I wonder why no one ever wrote the sequel to a fairy tale.  I truly wonder.

Ok, that was an intended sarcasm.

But really, a few days ago, I had the pleasure of reading a true fairytale love, the kind that would make “The Notebook” sound like a biography. Check out the link. Hmmm sounds like the makings of a romantic movie, right? Well, they took 80 years of hard work & sweat to make it. And of course, love.

Ever wondered why the short stories i posted or shared on my site have tragedies and sad endings? Yes, I am pretty much fascinated with stories or movies that have sad or tragic endings. Since they are fiction, why not make them sad?

For I believe happy endings happen only in real life.

So do me a favor.

Create your own tale. And live happily ever after.

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This article is a follow up to the post Does Happily Ever After Exist?

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