When we pick up a romance we expect a happy ending. That’s the agreement the author has made with the potential reader. For that matter, when we go to see a comedy film, we expect to laugh and feel that all is well at the end of the story, right?
Imagine my shock when I discovered that a certain movie promoted by a funny trailer featuring a silly dog, did not, in fact have a happy ending. In fact, it was just the opposite.
Call me crazy, but when movie-goers buy their tickets they, too, have expectations about the story they’re about to see. They’ve invested a fair amount of money—$10 here in Seattle—to sit through two hours of entertainment. When they leave, they have nothing to show for it, no book to re-read because it was so good, and quite possibly they might have indigestion from eating a bucket of popcorn.
Just as romances make an agreement with readers to deliver a happy ending, shouldn’t movie trailers reveal what the movie is about in such a way that people won’t be blindsided or frustrated? When I spotted a mom buying tickets for the above-mentioned dog movie, and standing beside her were two little kids, I wanted to shout – “Don’t do it!” But, alas, it’s not my place.
I figure my job is to provide thrilling and engaging entertainment that allows you to escape, and warms your heart with its happy ending. So there! I’m off my soapbox.
I must post this before the Oscar nominations are announced, but I’d love to know…do you have any favorites? Which ones and why?
UNDERCOVER STRANGER, Feb. ‘09