While in a debate with a friend last week, at one point her argument in the situation was that things do not turn out like the movies. Often the bad guy wins and the good guy just keeps his head down to keep a roof over his head.
Every since that statement I’ve been wondering why. Why can’t it be like the movies? There could be a nice character who the audience is introduced to through an everyday encounter, like being in line at the coffee shop, getting ready for work, or hurrying to meet a deadline. Then you are introduced to some other characters: foils, antagonists, sidekicks, and general townspeople who serve as comparison and contrast for our new hero. Of course there would have to be some drama and trauma along the way, otherwise it would be boring for the hero and for the audience. So a job is lost, a love says goodbye, and a favorite vase falls out a third-floor window. Tears and inappropriate language follow. But then hope starts breaking in, just barely from the corner of the screen so the hero doesn’t recognize it at first. A friend has a start-up business and a best friend becomes something more. Maybe the bad guy is not strung up a flag pole, but there is poetic justice of some form, with at least with our hero walking away with head high and soul in tact.
The first time I saw “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”, I kept waiting for the big twist. I assumed at some point we would find out the groom already had a wife in Utah or that the bride was betrothed to an Israeli prince or that they would just run off to Vegas rather than survive another loud family gathering. But no. The story had some hills and valleys but stayed sweet and positive the whole way through.
So if a hit movie can be a simple story, why can’t real life has a simple happy ending from time to time? What’s the worst that could happen? Someone lives happily ever after?