The perfect ending to a movie is not that easy to write. The great gesture of love in romance movies is often cliché, but then again, a love story can’t end with a simple hug or a forehand. The ending has to be just the right mix of drama and passion, like a perfectly mixed cocktail (yes, the Tom Cruise movie Cocktail perfectly succeeded in its happy ending).
But not all romance movies work the same and every movie needs to know its strengths. Modern day romantic comedies need a lot of conviction if they are to keep happy millennials from rolling their eyes at the peak. Here are some love movies with crisp endings and romantic comedies with not-so-great endings.
ten Great Ending: Shakespeare in Love (1998)
Critics are widely divided on the ending of this cult romantic comedy; while some have the impression Shakespeare in love (1998) ended in a get-away situation, most of them agree that the film’s ending is perfect as it doesn’t rest on any obvious tragic or comedic tropes and instead speaks of hope.
In the end, Viola (Gwyneth Paltrow) and Will (Joseph Fiennes) go their separate ways as Viola marries Lord Wessex and sails to a colony in Virginia. Will swears to immortalize his love and begins to write his comedy Twelfth Night; the film essentially shows him imagining his Viola as the shipwrecked heroine of Twelfth Night (also named Viola), suggesting that the character was based on her lost love.
9 Missed The Mark: My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997)
This movie’s ending was notoriously rewritten when director PJ Hogan revealed that the original ending didn’t perform well with the test audience. The end of The wedding of my best friend (1997) shows scheming Jules (Julia Roberts) abandoning his plans to sabotage the marriage of Michael (Dermot Mulroney) and Kimberly (Cameron Diaz) but instead blessing the happy couple.
There is no sense of closure at the end, as Jules is seen dancing with his gay friend and editor George (Rupert Everett). The original ending had Jules meeting a man, and while a total shot, fans wanted Jules to meet someone new, so she could distract herself from her failed adventure.
8 Great Ending: Before Sunrise (1995)
Before sunrise (1995) still rooted for a human and grounded approach to love, which is also why the film remains so relevant over the years. The film does not end with unrealistic or noble gestures or with a great tragedy where the two lovers on vacation go their separate ways.
Celine (Julie Delphy) and Jesse (Ethan Hawk) promise to meet in six months at the same place they left off, and do not share any contact information. There is a lot of resilience in the way the film portrays love and companionship and fans loved the way the film doesn’t use the tropes of pain or suffering to make their relationship complex or intense.
7 You missed the mark: friends with benefits
There are so many ways to describe a story of modern friends with benefits; it doesn’t have to be a fairy tale. And despite an excellent star-studded cast and a solid premise Friends with benefits drops with its end.
The film had many flaws but had a great deal of spontaneity which helped viewers connect with the characters. But in the end, Dylan (Justin Timberlake) opts for the cliché and radical gesture of Grand Central Station, which should ideally make any New Yorker roll their eyes. Plus, the ending doesn’t match the new-age grounded vibe of the storytelling.
6 Great ending: the shape of water
There was an intense talk about the Oscar-winning film’s ending, and critics widely believe that Guillermo del Toro deliberately opted for an ending that could be explained both scientifically and otherwise. The literal ending suggests that Elisa is also of amphibious origin since the scars on her neck open up to be gills when she goes underwater with the amphibian man.
This logic-based paradigm is also pretty fantastic and almost too good to be true. There are many fan theories that suggest that Elisa actually dies when she is shot by Strickland, and all that happens underwater is the imagination of the amphibian man; Either way, they both escape their treacherous realities, which makes for a perfect ending.
5 Missed The Mark: Maid in Manhattan
This film has a lot of heart but it disappointed its viewers by opting for a Cinderella ending. Made in Manhattan shows a relationship developing between maid Marisa Ventura (Jennifer Lopez) and a candidate for the Senate, Christopher Marshall (Ralph Fiennes); there’s obviously a lot of emphasis on class differences and the questions why their relationship should be the talk of the town.
But instead of having this conversation in a clever or meaningful way, the end of the film simply shows that Marisa is no longer poor as she starts her own hospitality business at the end. It never addresses the realities of their personal disparities or the differences of their origins.
4 You missed the mark: how to be single
This Dakota Johnson movie has many flaws, but its ending is not one of them. How to be single essentially features a millennial woman who just isn’t used to being single, having been in a relationship for most of her adult life.
So when Alice (Dakota Johnson) takes a break from her longtime boyfriend, she’s not quite sure how to navigate the dating circuit. The film shows her bonding with a number of men, though none of them seem serious. In the end, Alice walks the Grand Canyon on her own to see the first sunrise of the year, which was on her to-do list, suggesting she’s trying to make room for herself in her life.
3 You missed the mark: the proposal
The chemistry between Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds was undeniable in this movie, that’s what makes Proposal‘s such disappointing failures. Margaret (Bullock) is a top-flight editor who is on the verge of deportation to Canada and fakes an engagement with her assistant Andrew (Reynolds) to cheat Immigration Services.
The film ends with Margaret and Andrew falling in love and getting engaged, which is the most painfully predictable ending the romantic comedy could have used. Even though by the end of the film, viewers want the couple to reunite, the end is rushed and unrewarding for viewers who were hoping for something a little more mature.
2 Big ending: 10 things I hate about you
10 things I hate about you the ending is the biggest example of how every happy ending doesn’t have to be a cliché, sometimes it’s best to focus on the chemistry between the protagonists. This fan-favorite romance has major drama between sophomore sweethearts Kat (Julia Styles) and Patrick (Heath Ledger), and yet it’s painfully obvious that they want to be together.
So, instead of making the will that they won’t dance, the ending simply shows Kat professing her love for Patrick and reuniting with him as he surprises her with the guitar she wanted. It’s organic, it’s not overdone and most importantly, it’s very easy to understand.
1 Missed The Mark: Letters to Juliet
Letters for Juliet is a great movie; it’s breathtaking, fiery and it’s not just a unique watch. But, the end of the film seems oddly disconnected from the whole storyline, given that the love story of Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) and Charlie (Christopher Egan) adds nothing to the storyline and begins to gain in relevance. only halfway through the film.
That’s not to say their connection seems forced, but given that the film’s script is heavily supported by literature and the personal story of Charlie’s grandmother, the film’s ending had to be somehow tied to the goal. of the whole movie.
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