Tuesday, April 17, 2012

That's Entertainment

I hate sad movies.  I don’t want to pay fourteen dollars for two tickets and sixteen bucks for snacks so that I can go home without the makeup I wore to the show.
I go to the movies to be entertained.  It’s not entertaining to watch me blubber and blow my nose.  Just ask my husband.
Why can’t we have a love story, or an espionage flick, or a dramedy that doesn’t require knocking off the main character at the end?  Don’t movie producers realize that’s a criminal offense? It’s not romantic to kill people!  Otherwise, every February fourteenth  we should commemorate foul play instead of foreplay.  Of course, there was that Valentine’s Day Massacre. . .
Something has gone terribly wrong. And I can’t even blame Hollywood.  Most of my friends think sad endings make a movie “good”.  I ask you, was it “good” when Forrest Gump’s Jenny bought the farm one short year after she married him?  Was it “good” when the Andrea Gail went down in “The Perfect Storm”, taking George Clooney with her?  How about Guido, who managed to keep his son hidden and happy despite being in a Nazi death camp, only to lose his life right before the Yanks arrived, leaving his young son fatherless?  That one was called “Life Is Beautiful”.  See?  That’s how they suck you in—give it a feel good title and pull the rug out from under you when your popcorn runs out.
They should set up counseling centers inside movie theaters free of charge.  They owe us that much. 
I blame all of this on the 1993 movie, “Summersby”.  Jodie Foster and Richard Gere fell in love  during the Civil War  and, when it was over, Richard died for a crime he didn’t commit while Jodie walked happily through the town remembering him fondly.  As the credits rolled, I turned to my husband in disbelief and said, “I just lost two hours of my life that I can never get back.”  That’s the last time I ever watched a love story without looking up the ending first.  Talk about a plot killer.
Of course, my extreme sensitivities have severely limited my theater options.  I’ve never seen “Splendor In The Grass” (but that’s because I have allergies).  I skipped “A Walk To Remember”  because remembering plot catastrophes makes me depressed.  I avoided “Nights in Rodanthe” when I heard the romantic ending included Richard Gere’s demise in a freak mudslide.  The guy just can’t seem to stay alive—so far, he’s two for two.  Finally, I steered clear of “Autumn in New York” because the music was sad and I knew that meant either Richard would succumb in the end, or Winona Ryder.  Or, perhaps, the audience—who wearied of Richard’s womanizing ways and wished the author had knocked him off instead Winona.
All of this might explain why last Friday afternoon found my husband and me sitting in a theater with twenty other fifty-somethings, laughing until our sides split while Moe, Larry and Curly poked each other in the eyes and slapped each other in the faces. 
Now that’s a good movie.  Where violence doesn’t kill and the only casualties are the spoiled egomaniacs from the Jersey Shore.
Nyuck, nyuck, nyuck.


  1. Excellent, Eula! I have to confess, I like movies where the bad guys get their comeuppance. But not the good guys.

    1. I don't mind the bad guys being taken out--as long as I don't have to watch in living color. But when it comes to movies, I'm just an escapist at heart. And apparently, I'm no Anne Shirley. ;) Thanks for your encouragement!!

    2. I agree, Eula! I go to see a movie to be entertained not to walk out with my chin dragging on the ground. Sad endings are not my idea of entertainment. I'm not sure if you've had the chance to catch Last Vegas yet. The entire audience laughed through the whole thing. That's my idea of funny.

    3. I haven't seen that one yet, but I love to leave a theater with all those good endorphins flowing from laughing with a great audience at a great movie. They're pretty hard to find these days.