Thursday, April 02, 2009

Happy Endings?

Via BBC News:

Why the obsession with happy endings?

Fireworks over Disney castle
Disney is all about happy endings on sad fairytales

By Finlo Rohrer
BBC News Magazine

We're always being warned not to expect happy endings to the ecological, economic and political crises that beset the world, and yet when times are grim, these upbeat conclusions abound in the stories we seek out.

Two years ago, a group called the Happy Endings Foundation momentarily came to prominence.

They were demanding that authors of children's books come up with happier endings and even suggested that works with less sunny conclusions should be burnt on "bad book bonfires" held around the UK.

Soon, however, bloggers had investigated the foundation and revealed it was a marketing hoax - the like of which abound on April Fools Day, although this was in October. But by that time the BBC and several national and local newspapers had carried the story.

The point is that this kind of campaign doesn't seem that ridiculous. In troubled times there are plenty of people who want happy endings - a matter perhaps recognised by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, last week, when he cautioned God will not intervene in climate change to supply a happy ending.[!]

Read more


I don't know about you but I find HAPPY ENDINGS boring! My students in my classes always complain that I pick novels that don't end on a happy note but leave the ending open or questionable. How do you feel about Happy Endings? In books and films?

theteach

16 comments:

Kay said...

Happy, sad, 'meh".... as long as the ending "fits" and makes sense I don't really mind if I leave the book/movie feeling sad or happy.

I like ending to feel real, to "fit", to make me trust the story as a whole.

Make sense?

Jan said...

I'm not big on "happy endings". When I finish a book, I want to feel satisfied, or complete. I want the story to be over, finished or I want to know that the author is going to give me more, in the next installment.

SandyCarlson said...

I guess we need to grow up and make happy endings the things of reality rather than of fairy tales.

Kym said...

I will have to agree with Kay, Jan and Sandy...I want the book/movie to leave feeling satisfied that something real happened or to give me something to chew on while I wait for the next book/movie...Fairy Tales are nice to read once at bedtime, but honestly I would rather read something meaningful to my child than to fill her head with nonsense.

Babs (Beetle) said...

I hate it when two people are madly in love but they decide, for reasons that always escape me, that it won't work out and part! I always get mad when that happens. I must be a believer in 'love conquers all' :O)

ROSIDAH said...

I must admit that I like the stories to feel real and make sense, but I just love happy endings :).

alphawoman said...

I like happy endings. In real life the loose ends are not tied up, no tidy endings. So, in my fantasy state, I like a happy ending. But, then again, I like a good cry!

Daryl said...

I only want the loose ends wrapped up in a way that feels right ... or wrong but still wrapped up ... and I like discussing why it could be different .. I like thinking and happy endings dont let you think, unless of course you think there's a sequel where it doesnt end happily ..

Gattina said...

If you were my teacher I wouldn't even read your book if I knew that they don't have happy endings ! I hate books without happy endings or at least an ending but not leave me with something unfishinished that's the way I feel. I remember I devored Gone with the wind I found it great but the end !!! was such a disappointment there was no ending at all, neither happy nor unhappy. Terrible !

♥ Kathy said...

I like happy endings. I'm a big romantic :) But I also am a realist and know it doesn't always end good so that's ok too. I don't think any author should be REQUIRED to write a happy ending for their story. That would be just ridiculous.

Bond said...

Have ya read any of my fiction? To me a happy ending is 3 pints of blood, a missing pinkie finger and a crowd gathering around the carnage!

Ivanhoe said...

Not everything has a happy ending so I'm all for lots of different endings. Just like in a real life :o)
How's your ankle, teach?

San said...

There's a certain kind of movie that's in the fantasy realm and simply needs to end happily. Then there are those that are reality-based and need to end realistically. Same for books. I enjoy a movie or a film that's uplifting--by showing people's good sides and strengths for example--without sacrificing the realism. I would prefer for a protagonist to get in touch with her own strength rather than ride off into the sunset with her metaphorical knight in shining armor. Or slip into drug abuse. Guess I'm somewhere in the middle on the happy ending scale.

San said...

A movie or a film. DUH. I meant to say "a movie or a book."

bj said...

Why, I love happy endings better than just about anything in this whole wide world !! There's waaaay too much sadness in our world and when I read a book or see a movie...I CRAVE that it will be a happy ending!!
xo bj

Travis said...

I don't mind a happy ending as long as it's earned. Make the characters work to overcome the challenge, make the efforts and the resolution plausible, and that works for me.