Saturday, August 11, 2007

Alternate endings

Okay, what's the deal with "alternate endings"? All the DVDs being released these days advertise alternate endings. Do we really want that?

Personally, I want to know how the story ends. Just tell me! If there are three different endings, how do I know which one is real? I remember when the movie Clue came out in 1985, and theaters were playing three different endings across the country. I felt cheated. How would I know if I got the "right" ending?!

That's the point of suspended disbelief, right? We, the readers (or viewers) are swept into an alternate reality for a brief period of time, where the characters are "real" and the events are "really happening."

Imagine if Margaret Mitchell gave an alternate ending for Gone with the Wind (Scarlett finds another guy?)? What if, in one version, the Great Gatsby turned out to just another rich guy? What if Thelma and Louise stopped at the edge of the cliff?

They may be fictional characters, but if a writer has gone to all the trouble to make them real to us, shouldn't their happy endings (or their demise) be "real" as well?

Call me old fashioned, but I want a beginning, a middle, and an end. Just one, thanks.

6 comments:

tam said...

I'm with you, I like to know just one ending too!

Susan said...

You voiced my sentiments perfectly! Can you imagine the outrage that would go on if an author even attempted do that?

Maureen said...

When I'm watching a DVD I just watch the actual movie. My son, though, will look at the alternate endings and enjoys them.

Minna said...

I don't like them either. But, I once read this Disney comic with not just an alternative ending, but with plenty of alternatives as to how the story would continue in other parts of the story, too. There were always about 3 alternative ways to continue. It was actually fun to read.

ChristyJan said...

I just watched Wild Hogs on DVD and it had an alternate ending that you could watch at the end. It was pretty funny, but the one they went with was the best.

deseng said...

I have always liked variety but I couldn't imagine an alternate ending to Gone With the Wind. Most of the books I have read are fantastic just the way they are. There have been some older ones where I wished it would have ended differently. I would go crazy though if an author had like 3 different endings to her story.