Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Spoiler Alert: Someone Dies in This Movie

One of my biggest cinematic pet peeves is when a film is advertised as a romance and you've invested your heart and soul in a beautiful love story...and then half the pairing kicks the bucket. Pushes up daisies. Shuffles off the mortal coil. THEY DIE. Because it's somehow noble and artsy and the partner left behind can cherish that experience and move forward and live a full life with skydiving and Pulitzers and shit.

How is that romantic? Heartbreak is terrible. If I wanted heartbreak, I'd just stay in my own life, not fork over dough to escape into someone else's!

That's not to say that a person can't love again. Of course they can. But that's a different story. Don't make me root for these people for two hours and then go, "And they're dead now. Sorry!" It's deceptive, manipulative and cheap. The Powers That Be often think they're making some kind of deep and provocative statement with a Big Death...but what they're really saying is that they're happy to take your money after selling you a lie. That is some bullshit right there.

So, without further ado, here is a list of "romances" that are FOREVER on my shit list because there is no happy ending. (Not counting Nicholas Sparks movies. Because duh.) (See also: Romeo & Juliet and all its permutations.) (Also not counting Me Before You and The Fault in Our Stars because I haven't seen them and neeeeeverrrr will.)

1. Out of Africa (My earliest instance of encountering this stupid trope. I don't care if it's
She does. He doesn't.
autobiographical. It's Robert Redford!)
2. The Last of the Mohicans (I have to sit through hours of white-savior and damsel-in-distress bullshit AND Daniel Day-Lewis dies? No thank you.)
3. Titanic (Goddamn it, Rose. Just scoot over.)
4. Legends of the Fall (In which all the women die so Brad Pitt can live to a ripe old age wracked by manpain.)
5. Up Close and Personal (OMG, stop killing Robert Redford!)
6. The English Patient (Yep, he dies and his love interest dies. Naveen Andrews and Juliette Binoche are the only reason to watch this movie.)
7. Moulin Rouge (An overwrought and culturally appropriative piece of crap + Nicole Kidman dying of TB!)
8. City of Angels (Nicholas Cage gives up his angel status to be with Meg Ryan, who gets hit by a truck and dies. I gave up hours in a theater. Whyyyy?)
9. Brokeback Mountain (I'm aware that it and several other movies on this list are based on written works. I don't care. Stop profiting off LGBTQIA suffering, assholes.)
10. Alien 3 and Once Upon a Time in Mexico (These aren't romances, but Aliens and Desperado gave us Hicks and Carolina and then the next movie took them away and I'm still bitter.)

Dishonorable mentions — in which nobody dies but there's still no happy ending, so fuck you very much.

1. Roman Holiday (I love it to pieces, but I still watch it over and over expecting a different ending.)
2. Casablanca (I'm still not sure how Ilsa leaving Morocco with the husband she doesn't love is a good idea.)
3. Indecent Proposal (In which Robert Redford gets screwed again. Who in their right mind picks Woody Harrelson over him?!)
4. Speed 2: Cruise Control (Not only was this movie a gratuitous money-grab, but it felt the need to break up Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves and replace the latter with Jason Patric. Nope!)
5. The Replacement Killers (How do you have Chow Yun-Fat and Mira Sorvino spend an entire movie eye-fuckig, only to have them part ways? It's like Roman Holiday but with guns!)

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