Unhappy Endings


The Cover of “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” taken from Amazon Prime.

 Romcoms have seriously messed with the heads of every single person that loves the idea of two “perfect” people being perfect for each other. No one has stood outside my bedroom window with a boombox, or stood in front of me in a bookstore professing their love for me.

I grew up watching Hallmark movies and classic romcoms with my mom. My weekends were spent watching Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant fall madly in love and Heath Ledger serenading Julia Stiles during soccer practice. Of all the rom coms I have watched, all of the singing and dancing, the “It’s always been you’s,” there are few that do not end in butterflies and rainbows. 

Most of these movies, however, end with someone dying, not the real-life breakup that ninety-nine percent of people experience. None of them acknowledge the fact that so many people are so self-absorbed they are incapable of loving someone else as much as they love themselves. They paint the idea that if one thing had been different, “in another life,” they were still destined to be together. Look at “Romeo and Juliet,” they are two teenagers in love. They are painted as “star-crossed lovers,” but in reality, they are dramatic teenagers that would have fallen out of love in five years tops. There are only two movies that are semi-realistic, “My Best Friend’s Wedding” and “La La Land.” 

The first unhappy ending I fell in love with is “My Best Friend’s Wedding.”  The movie focuses on a woman that is in love with his best friend but he is getting married. She then sabotages the wedding in hopes of winning back her dream man. In her efforts to do so, her love interest falls deeper in love with his fiancee. In the end, the main character ends up alone at her best friend’s wedding. The reason this movie is so appealing is because you are not rooting for the main character. Everyone can acknowledge that she sucks, she is being a generally bad person but she’s being a person. The basic reality of being a person is that you are going to make mistakes, you are going to be jealous and although you may not go to the extremes she did, you are going to do what it takes for you to be happy. That being said, I do not condone her behavior at all, she was being a huge jerk. The unhappy ending hits home for many. Sometimes, someone just doesn’t like you in that way. There’s nothing you can do about it, and you just have to move on. 

My all-time favorite unhappy ending is the one in “La La Land.” The movie explains the relationship between a struggling actress and a jazz artist through beautiful songs and dance numbers. Both pursuing their dreams, they have a falling out and break up. Five years later, the now-famous actress stops in a jazz club with her husband, only to find it is her old flame’s establishment. A montage of “what could have been” is played and in the end, the actress leaves the club with one last look goodbye. The ending could not be any more fitting than it is. It is as realistic as it comes seeing as it is a movie. This is real life! Life gets in the way and if you cannot prioritize your relationship, it will end. You can spend five years dating someone, thinking that you will get married, then the relationship can end in a second.  

Taking a break from the pessimism, some people are thoughtful and are capable of loving someone just as much as they love themselves.