18 February 2011

"Good" movies are depressing

This is kind of a different post than usual for me.  I don't usually watch many movies.  There's just so many other things I'd rather be doing.   Maybe it's the drab, bored with the same old, same old feeling I've been having,  but lately, I've been on a movie kick.  Being seriously disappointed a few weeks ago, I was careful in our selection this time.  I wanted to get a family movie to watch with the kids on Valentines Day, but the redbox was seriously OUT of kids shows.  Guess everyone had that idea.  So, we rented Inception and set the kids up with a movie in the office. 

Inception PosterOur movie was interesting.  I still felt a bit mislead from what I read in the description, but it wasn't bad.  It's the kind of movie that makes you question your reality, in a Matrix sort of way.    I know that this right here is reality, because in my dreams, the dishes magically do themselves and I can see that they are still in there waiting for me.  It was not the sort of movie that I would suggest to watch for a romantic evening.  Kind of depressing in that way.  The boy does not get the girl, because she's already dead.  Yup, life sucks.

North Face Poster
My husband brought a movie for me to watch.  A truly amazingly done movie, called, The Northface.  It's about mountain climbers in Switzerland trying to be the first to climb the Eiger mountain.   It's actually in German, but with English subtitles.  And he was right.  It is an amazing movie.  I couldn't stop watching it.  The story line is great, the filming was amazing.  Very well done, but, it's based on a true story and therefore must be depressing.  No happy ending there either.  I still recommend it though.

 Then, I watched The Duchess by myself one day during nap time.  It's not new and I barely remember hearing about it when it did come out.  I got sucked in because I like "period" movies.  I blame the princess stories I grew up with.  I think I'm trained to fall for the movies with fancy dresses and poofy hair...marrying a prince and living happily ever after in a beautiful castle. 

This movie had all those aspects, except my idea of happily ever after is quite different than the one in the movie.  They just kind of live ever after.   I do the same thing with other period movies.  I know how things will end, but I keep hoping that somehow, everything will work out wonderfully and they will ride off into the sunset.  Nope.  I come away from these movies feeling so sad at the plight of women in those days.  They truly had no rights.  At all.  Even while my mind is reminding me that it was a movie and not real, and certainly Hollywooded up, I find myself moping around feeling sorry for the women that lived before me.

 My mind does this to me.  It's why I can't watch horror films.  I am not able to just say, wow, that was a well made movie.  Or, they really drove that point home.  Or, the actors were so believable.  No, the story sucks me in and sticks with me for a long time.  I have to watch a few completely silly, happy movies to snap out of it.

I realized that a non-depressing movie is one that ends with the wedding.  They leave you off with the hope of a wonderful life thereafter.  The depressing ones start with a wedding and then show you all the ways that life stinks.  Yep, prince charming isn't so charming once you get to know him.  In fact, he's a jerk.  Too bad you're stuck with him.  ...Okay, they don't all start with a wedding...  but movies that actually follow real life events usually don't end well.  Although there are a few sports - underdog shows that end well, and I like those.

I find that I prefer the old standby romance when I watch a movie.  No matter how truthful or real a movie is, I still want that happy ending.  I don't need to know about real life.  I have a real life.  I already know it's not all sparkles and prancing ponies.  I watch movies to be entertained and taken away for a little while. 

Yep, give me the old, boring, predictable romances.  I'm old, boring and predictable.


  1. I like a lot of different movies but the ones I really like are the old ones with Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant and (drool) Yul Brynner!

  2. Sharon -- you stay away from Yul. He's mine! Wait -- I think he passed away. Umm, so did Jimmy and Cary. Okay - you can have Yul! ;)

    I like watching the old Western movies. I don't have much choice, cuz that's what the husband likes. But I like them too. :)

  3. I catch myself feeling that way too, to the point that i get nervous half-way through the movie because I don't want it to end badly. I do love a good movie with a good ending, although i will tell you I am also drawn to movies like The Guardian and Perfect Storm, even though I now know they end sadly...I think it goes back to my fear of dark water-movies like those two let me experience it from the safety of the couch.

  4. Polly, I liked the Guardian too, but I always spend days thinking of ways they could have done something different to have a happy ending.

    I like the old ones too, and westerns of course. Maybe I should throw in a few musicals too. :)