Thursday, February 08, 2007


The playfriends have gone on several field trips lately to see movies. Most of us have absolutely loved the movie...right up until about 5 minutes before the end. It isn't unusual for us to walk out of the theater commenting on how the resolution was unsatisfying and how the ending was a let-down compared to the rest of the emotionally fulfilling scenes that lead up to it. I've spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out why this is.

Surely there isn't a rash of Hollywood screenwriters that simply took a vacation on the last five minutes of their screenplay. I'm wondering if the problem isn't us...does the fact that we write and read romance provide us with unusually high expectations in the resolution department?

I'm taking an online class (An emotions class with Alicia Rasley through CRW - fantastic!!). During our discussion on emotion and how it ties to POV, the emotional disconnect of an author came up. The basic idea was presented that we have lost the "illusion" in storytelling. That we see the working parts behind the emotions the author is trying to evoke because we've worked the same magic in our own writing - setting up clues, foreshadowing, weaving background and story together for increased emotional impact.... And you know, I have to agree. It has become increasingly difficult for me to lose myself in a story (not just reading but in movies and TV as well). Maybe that's why we've been unsatisfied with the endings? We've simply not been able to put aside that storytelling mentality and get lost enough in the emotions enough to feel the impact at the end?

Have you ever been disappointed in the ending of a book or movie?


P.S. Beth is our winner from yesterday. Congratulations! Please email with your snail mail address and she'll get your prize right out to you.


Angel said...

I agree. Another reason I think we might be critical of the endings (other than that they could have been better!), is that the movies we're critiquing have been romances.

I don't have this problem with mystery or horror movies, which is probably why I tend to watch them more and more. I've also found myself addicted to romantic suspense and paranormal romance, I think because I don't write them. I can lose myself in the story quicker.

But I do find I'm quicker to put a book down than I was before. If it isn't great, it isn't worth the preciously small amount of time I have left over to read.


Smarty Pants said...

It's horrible! I used to be able to go see a movie and it would be fine. Now I dissect it in my mind. I won't spoil any recent movies for anyone waiting to see something come out on DVD or whatever, but it seems like a lot of movies have ended with disappointment for me. Unresolved storylines, emotionally stunted characters, stuff that just doesn't make sense. Sometimes I wonder if the screenplay is a poor adaptation of the book and I hope that in the book, all these issues were resolved properly.

I'm sure my aggravation is compounded by my recent R which said my storyline was predictable and it detracted from the overall suspense of the story. Then I go to the movies and can spot an ending a mile away. Maybe I should be a screenwriter...


Problem Child said...

What was truly amusing was at the movies last weekend where Angel and I figured out the movie in the first 30 seconds of a trailer. (The other Playfriends might have as well--if they did, they didn't mention it.) And, yes, I miss the days when I could watch a romantic comedy without dissecting it--even if I do find it a learning experience.

I'm with Angel about books too--I now know the importance of grabbing the reader quickly. You have 4 pages, Author, to get me to care. Otherwise, I have my own book to write (and laundry to do, floors to clean...)

Rhonda said...

Instigator, rare is the movie these days that I don't sit back and think that I could have written a better ending.

BTW, I'm hosting a cyber b'day party for Brenda on my blog if anyone wants to stop by and give her a shout-out. :-)

Playground Monitor said...

When I saw "Sweet Home Alabama" I remember thinking the NY boyfriend just plain got the shaft. He was al all-right guy caught up in circumstances. And a couple friends also felt the same way. But when I saw the movie on DVD and watched the deleted scenes, you found out he'd been fooling around with one of the heroine's models, which made him a not-all-right guy and made her leaving him much more acceptable.

When the DH and I watch Monk or CSI we're always trying to solve the mystery and since we Tivo it and watch later, we can stop at any point and offer our guess on the solution. Weird, I know. *g*

I don't dissect movies too much because I go to be entertained. I either am or not.

I'm finding myself more prone to put a book down now too. I used to finish regardless just because of stubborness. But when I have a shelf of books beckoning and writing that needs to be done, I feel now I don't have the luxury of stubbornly slogging through a book that isn't holding my interest.


Smarty Pants said...

PM- DB and I stop shows we've Tivo'd and guess stuff too! We had a lot of fun guessing weight losses on the biggest loser then totaling how many total pounds we were off. The loser had to make dinner or something. :)


Lis said...

I agree. I've put down more books halfway through now that I write myself then I ever did before. And movies, if they lose me or do something stupid, I'm flipping the channel. The one that bugged me the most on the ending was 'The Break Up' got it for Christmas and couldn't stand the ending.

catslady said...

I'm not a writer so it probably doesn't happen to me as much. My biggest complaints are with mystery or suspense books. Endings that were fanangled at the end and really make no sense or I feel like I've been tricked. I also tend to have a realistic mindset and many a time end up saying - that's impossible or wouldn't happen unless I know it's paranormal or fantasy - then anything goes.