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End of the Line: Unearned Happy Endings…

I reviewed Baby Mama earlier today and – while I was impressed with the film’s willingness to tackle a somewhat controversial topic – I was less than impressed by the somewhat conventional ending tacked on to the film. And then I mellowed out a bit. “It is a comedy after all,” I reminded myself, in the hope that I would forgive the film because it wasn’t a black comedy – most lighthearted comedies call for a light-hearted ending, after all. Besides, this particular film isn’t the only film in recent memory to resort to a disappointingly conventional ending, so why does it bother me so much?

Not everybody gets a fairytale ending...

Note: As you may have guessed from the topic, I’ll be discussing endings here – particularly the one from Baby Mama. Consider yourself warned, there are spoilers ahead.

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Why Are We Afraid to Scare Children?

I watched the Platinum Anniversary Edition of Pinocchio over the weekend. aside from the revelation of how ridiculously Disney manipulate the market to keep their movies out of constant circulation and creating false scarcity, what really struck me about the movie was how ridiculously (and gloriously) dark it was. As a 23-year-old adult, I felt more than a little uncomfortable watching the movie, so I can only imagine how it would have terrified me as a kid. Turning kids into donkeys and selling them to the circus! Threatening to chop up the lead character for firewood (and showing a similar puppet with an axe in his back)! The lead character lying limp, face-down in a puddle! It occurred to me that you’d never get a film like that made for kids these days. Why are we afraid to scare children?

He's a jackass! Geddit? Seriously, this gave me nightmares.

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