The not so happy romance

When I was growing up, I loved happy endings in books, movies, any type of story. I didn’t understand why there had to be unhappy endings. I hated John Steinbeck for years because of The Red Pony (read when I was in middle school or so), then let him be redeemed with East of Eden. As a kid, Romeo and Juliet could have ended so much better if people had just talked with each other. The girl should get the guy, good should triumph over evil and so on and so forth. I couldn’t like a book/movie with a sad ending. I still haven’t watched The Red Shoes since it traumatized me.

I’ve since become far more sophisticated.

Go ahead, laugh at that comment. I snicker myself. But I do own Romeo + Juliet (1996) these days.

Moulin Rouge as well.

I might not watch the end of R+J all the time, but I recognize the poignancy and it touched the story-lover in me. I occasionally watch a Nicholas Sparks’ movie when one shows up. Alright, I own A Walk to Remember (movie), I admit it. But I’m not the type that seeks out stories that are guaranteed to make me cry, or at least depress me.

But I’m noticing that I really do like that type of film. The dramatic romance, where the end could be quite morose. I own, love and share Bright Star (movie), even more depressing because it’s based on the actual life and death of John Keats (if that’s a spoiler, you need to go study your Romantic Lit).

Jane Eyre (2011) was my favorite movie of last year (tying with Bridesmaids. yes, judge me.) and I wouldn’t call it completely depressing, it’s still uber-dramatic and pulls on those emotional strings.

And now, I’ve just added Never Let Me Go (2010) to my Amazon Wish List.

The book and movie made me cry and I want to watch it again? Own it even? What is wrong with me?

There’s a beauty in loss. I don’t know how else to explain it. Losing something, someone you love can be a life-changing event. As a watcher/reader, you can experience this catharsis (thank you, theatre history for that tidbit) without actual loss. Characters are lost and what’s left is a beautiful memory and the knowledge that the potential of greatness was snuffed out too early. I don’t know if I’d ever write something like that, but I sure can appreciate it.

Okay, I think I have to watch Jane Eyre now.

SOTM: Close to You by The Carpenters
© ecnewman, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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