This is as much a “musing” post as anything. For those who have read Orchids in the Snow (my first novel), the ending of the book was not the original ending. The absolute silly, but incredibly un movie Wayne’s World that pretty much launched Michael Myers into movie stardom used the expression, “Mega happy ending” in the movie as they were mapping out different endings “that could have happened”. It really is a funny part of the film. Anyway, the original ending to Orchids was in fact, the Mega Happy version and the editor made a comment like, “It’s okay if you want to do this, but I think it would be more consistent with the dual protagonists if you did xyz.” I balanced it out and decided to make the change.
One of the reasons I like romantic comedies and Disney-type movies is the Mega Happy ending is usually consistent. When you shift into drama, it becomes less plausible. I’m okay with satisfactory endings and can accept the idea of the bittersweet or the hero/good guys dying as long as it’s for a good cause. (You get a lot of that in war movies obviously.) There is a particular book and movie from a few years ago that while I appreciated the intricacies of the plot, I truly hate it when the bad guy/girl gets away. Enough of that happens in the real world and I don’t need it for entertainment. I also don’t like it when there are no heroes, although I’m okay with complicated characters who are a mix, but at least one or two have to be more good than bad.
Anyway, what brought this about was reading a book the other day with one of those, “Really, you chose this for the ending?” moments. The story had taken a couple of unexpected turns and quite honestly, both protagonists had some flaws I wasn’t fond of. Now, I realize a “mega happy” wouldn’t have worked well. The final twist though was definitely a stretch. Ah well, to each his own, as they say.