Unhappy Ending, Where Art Thou?

Newsweek critic laments Hollywood's love for the upbeat
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 20, 2008 7:37 PM CDT
Unhappy Ending, Where Art Thou?
Actor Tobey Maguire arrives for the New York premiere of "Spiderman 3" in this file photo.    (Associated Press)

Happy endings don't ensure box-office sales, but Hollywood still snubs sad or complex finales—even if they better fit the film, David Ansen writes in Newsweek. Filmgoers don't need movies to end on a smile: Take Titanic or The Third Man. But this year's summer fare, like Iron Man and Get Smart, is no doubt back-loaded with upbeat, sequel-sparking endings.

Ansen looks at a variety of curtain-closers: the happy, the sad, the gag-line, the last shot, the plot twist, and the brain tease. "Frankly, my dear, we don't give a damn if the ending is happy or sad, as long as it's right," he writes. He wonders if "it is too much to hope" that this summer's films don't climax with phony, romantic finales. "That would be a very happy ending indeed." (More movies stories.)

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