Friday, June 5, 2009

happy endings

so today . . . we watched a movie. i was pretty excited about it, because it looked like a good story. it started off well. it was an interesting idea. the middle did a good job of developing the idea. then we headed into the ending, and that's where the trouble began . . .

i like stories--books, blogs, movies, my dad talking--but it is disappointing when the end doesn't live up to the promise of the beginning. i hate it when the end just kind of fizzles out, like the storyteller just ran out of ideas and decided to say, "the end." i also hate it when they take the easy way out.

that was the case today. the story was good--it was intriguing and had me sitting on the edge of my seat. my mind was filled with possibilities of the places it might go. the suspense built as the characters raced around trying to find a solution to a seemingly impossible situation. i was riveted. emotionally involved. i was feeling the main characters. i was thinking, "this is a great movie. i'll have to tell my friends about it."

and then they sent in aliens to save the day . . .

are you kidding me?!?! i mean, i like a good alien movie as much as the next person. one of my favorite movies is independence day (WHAP! "welcome to earth!") but this was just taking the easy way out. this was not a story about aliens! it was a story about unexplained phenomena. i guess you could make a case for aliens being the cause of it, but it just smacked of deus ex machina, a plot device used in greek tragedies, where someone appears "out of the blue" to help a character overcome a seemingly insolvable difficulty. if the greeks wrote themselves into a corner, they would just lower one of their gods down into the situation to save the day! and that is exactly what happened in the movie. it was almost as though they couldn't think of a way out, so hey! let's blame it on aliens!

they lost me. i sat back in my seat and crossed my arms and emotionally disengaged. where they wanted me to cry, i scoffed. where they wanted me to feel a parent's anguish, i felt like laughing in derision. when they turned the aliens into angels, i thought, "do not even go there!" when the music swelled with passion, i just wanted it to be over. the words "the end" could not come soon enough to satisfy me.

i was so disappointed. so many questions that had been raised remained unanswered. i kept saying, "what about the rocks? why didn't they let the little boy finish his writing? why were there so many alien ships? why didn't they let the teacher's character provide some of the answers?" and the big question, why did they even go with the "aliens saving mankind" ending? it was just so hokey!

as rollie and i talked about it later, it got me to thinking about how a good ending is so important. a weak ending can take a story from incredible to forgetable. it can make you feel like you have wasted your time--that there were other more worthwhile things you could have been engaged in. whether it is a story, or an event, or an interaction with someone, the ending is what will be remembered.

i'm not going to live forever. neither are you. but the ending is important. who we are and how we treat people is important. it isn't a good thing to reach a point in life where you feel like you've lived your life, you've "served your time," and now you're done. i'm all for relaxing, but as long as you are alive, don't forget that your influence is affecting those around you. and that influence can be cranky, difficult, and demeaning or it can be kind, encouraging, and helpful.

i hope that as i continue to get older, i will choose to be positive. i hope i won't fall into the trap of being critical of those around me. i hope i will remember that each day i have is a gift, and i should enjoy it. i hope i will continue to look for the good in people, and overlook the things that annoy me. i hope that i will be like my grandma peabody, who everybody loved, and not like archie bunker, who everybody loved to hate. i want a happy ending!

because i've told both rollie and diandra, if i get old and cranky just put me in a "home" and leave me there. rollie says he could never do that, but i'm not so sure about diandra . . . :)


Wendy said...

Oh!!! I'd do it in a heartbeat!!! BUT- there will never be a need! You will never be cranky enough for that! :) I'd just make sure you had good eye sight so while surrounded by (and eventually buried with) your electronics you'd be happy!

Jes said...

when you don't know how to end a movie... aliens! haha i was VERY disappointed too!