There is a culture of theater in this nation. It is believed we flock to movies for escape, but I think for many of us, we watch movies for catharsis. Something must be said for script writers, because for 90 minutes or so, we are wrapped up in what we so desperately need. The feeling that someone, somewhere understands us, has shared in some way in our story.
One of my favorite things to do is curl up on my chaise and re-watch one of the handful of movies I know by heart. There is just something about a great story. It’s not only about craving that perfect ending, either. For a moment, you can give yourself over to someone else’s heartache, heartbreak, trials, pitfalls, success, masterpiece, adventure. A good story doesn’t wash over you, it runs through you. It captures some part of you that maybe you were hiding. Perhaps this is the great magic of the chick flick.
Us ladies, we love a happy ending. Not every ending is happy, and we know this, but come on, a girl can dream, can’t she? And the best happy ending is the one that feels truly earned, something that has been struggled for. We all love these stories, because we live them. Our heartache, heartbreak, our true love, we eat it up when we get to watch it all played out, neatly wrapped up for us. Our stories are not always as nicely packaged.
Maybe this is the reason we love movies, because of the lie of a nice tidy happy ending… The happily ever after for us grown up little girls. For a moment, we can allow ourselves to feel it all; we know what is coming at the end. No matter how hopeless it may all seem, we do have that comfort that the sad can only last so long- at some point the plot twists and we are making our way towards that happy ending once more. The prince gets the princess. The mice and birdies all sing together, flowers float through the air; and we’re adults, but for that moment, there is this hope we get to have, if only for that fleeting moment in a dim theater or on our couch.
Life is so much more. It’s not wrapped into a tidy little two hour bundle. We can’t know when a plot twist is just around the corner for us. We never know when or if our happy ending is on its way. But, I guess that is the gift of real life, you don’t have to wait for someone else to tell the story, for another to write your happiness; if so much is unknown, maybe the answer is to create as many happy endings as you can out of your own story.