For a couple nights in a row, my dad and I have been idly watching the last half hour or so of movies. It’s funny how similarly all movies wrap up, and honestly, by watching that last half hour, I feel like I’ve already watched the whole thing because movies are so formulaic. Anything that couldn’t have been assumed is generally explained in full at the end. He’s a secret agent and this is his real name? Okay, so a series of wacky happenings caused her to think he was unfaithful/disinterested. The only reason he took her to prom was because someone had paid him? We all know that was only the beginning. What she doesn’t know is that he fell in love!
One thing that drives me nuts in romantic comedies specifically, though, is how the main characters talk about their recent betrayal in the third person. They do it all the time. “I knew a girl once who felt like that.” “Maybe she just needed a man to show her his true colors.” Blarrrgh, no one talks like that! The worst part is that I get caught up in the story if I watch the whole movie so I barely notice it. Watching three movie ends in a row kind of highlights how dumb that is.
What really started us on this kick though, was the end of an old cowboy movie that I think starred John Wayne. When we came in, John Wayne’s shrew wife was immensely enjoying a very wacky rodeo and telling off some pompous guy. Then Injuns stole a lot of guns and wrought havock on the town for laughs, coincidentally covering John Wayne’s old-style-mullet-having wife in molasses and then feathers. She shouts at John Wayne, furious, and storms off to get changed while one of John Wayne’s friends tells him that it’s about time he raised his hand to his harpy wife. So the last 15 minutes of the movie is John Wayne chasing his half-clothed (and nakeder/wetter all the time) wife through town and eventually cornering her at the blacksmith’s anvil and spanking her in front of the entire town, to the cheers of everyone. (I was a little relieved that he just spanked her because I was seriously worried that he was going to brand her crazy ass.) Then, the whole thing wrapped up with them happy and loving and possibly having a whole lot of sex. It’s hard to tell with 60’s outside-the-window shots. So I could only glean that the moral of the story was to beat your wife for a better marriage. I have to say that none of the other movie ends I’ve seen were as interesting or as fun to speculate on as that one.