This is cross-posted at The Season.
I know it’s supposed to be one the all-time greatest films, but I’ve seen it once and as God is my witness, I shall never watch it again.
I was 13 when I watched it. No one had spoiled the ending for me yet. My mom told me it was her favorite film, so we watched it together. After investing quite a bit of my heart in the story…after watching the characters’ painful struggle to grow…the film ended sadly?
Uh uh. Not for me, thanks.
The Romance Writers of America defines romance as having an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending. Perhaps my aversion to sad endings is a sign that I’ve been conditioned by all the romance novels I’ve read. Maybe I’m just naturally someone who loves a happy ending. But in my mind, Rhett and Scarlett stay together in the end. It isn’t a perfect relationship, but they’re perfect for each other and they continue to have a passionate, tempestuous marriage.
They have more children together, not because children are necessary for a happy ending but because Rhett and Scarlett want children again, only this time they won’t use their kids as a weapon against each other. They’ll adore all their kids, but Scarlett will secretly prefer the little boy who takes strongly after Rhett, and Rhett will dote on the little girl who reminds him of Scarlett.
They’ll have to struggle to rebuild their lives, but they’ll rely on each other’s strength and prop each other up when they think they’re going to fail. Their grandsons will fight in the First World War, but they’ll come home safely (and one will bring a sassy French wife with him. Scarlett will hate her.). One of their granddaughters will be an army nurse, and she’ll spend her life fighting for women’s liberation—a cause Rhett supports more vocally than Scarlett.
And, because they’re fictitious, they never die.
What book or film would you give a more optimistic, emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending? Or do you prefer gut-wrenching endings?