Friday, November 6, 2009

Happy Ending Movies

The kids and I watched Enchanted, so sweet, so American, so Disney, happy endings all round, even for the cynical divorce lawyer. A simple story of a fairy tale princess who ends up in Times Square in her marvelous bouffant gown, her gift of singing to the local animals and getting their help (great spin on this, as since she's no longer in the forest, the local fauna consists of rats, pigeons, mice and cockroaches!), and her belief in true love untainted. She wins in the end, and converts all around her to joy and love and fairy tale endings.

What an odd thing to see when living in France, the land of realism and nuance, sad endings, closed doors and pessimism. Happy endings are such a part of American culture. We believe we can communicate, share, discover, reach out, as if we had no hang-ups, no childhood disasters, no fear of intimacy, no resentment that's built to ungodly levels.

Back during the divorce, I loved watching Julia Roberts or Meg Ryan movies – the slightly wacky but lovable girl gets the guy every time, and it will be ok. So far away, winter in Provence, long dark nights, a marriage in trouble, these presented warmth and hope; that for which they were designed. And I succombed most willingly to the fantasy.

Interestingly, it was the boys who chose the movie.

No comments: