Flights of fancy - but no cheer

Posted on: 19/03/2012

I love what in my days of innocence were called "the pictures". "Movies" is the more common name now but, whatever the name, I have to wonder if they are as good now as they were way back when.

I don't get to the pictures as often as I would like. However, I do stay in touch with most of the latest releases when I fly. A long flight can see me get through 4 or 5 films.

Sometimes I watch so many different films that I can't quite sort out fiction from reality as I stumble down the aircraft steps. I don't need in-flight alcohol to scramble my brain; my viewing does damage enough.

One thing that really annoys me is that so few films have happy endings, apart from some made purely for children.

Now I know that life ultimately doesn't have a happy ending - death is the inevitable outcome - but between leaving the birth canal and popping six feet under, there ARE many happy real-life sub-plots. Sadly, few of these make it to a screen near you.

Take One Day, which is a film about two people who meet at university and spend most of their lives vaguely in touch but denying their love. Finally, they realise what all viewers had long known i.e. they were made for each other. They then marry but can't have children. Then the "she" dies in a bicycle accident.

Why did she have to die, you might ask. I certainly did.

Well, probably because film-makers believe breaking hearts fill more seats than fully requieted love stories.

Well, I disagree. One Day would have been a better film if she had lived, a genuine feel-good experience.

Instead, it was just above run-of-the-mill, reduced to that by the director's unwillingness to cast a vote for life.

We have EastEnders to make us despair. We don't need to go to the pictures to replicate the experience.

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