Monday, September 3, 2012
I'm fifteen and I'm a cynic. I suppose that's a part of the skepticism that makes me who I am. I believe in love but I don't believe in soul mates. I no longer believe in the goodness of humanity as a whole. Given that, I'm a little picky about what is believable- and if a story doesn't authentically represent human beings and the human experience (whether this is in the real world or no), I discount it.
In a lot of ways, I dislike fairy tales simply because I believe that they make for poor stories. A story isn't necessarily poor because it is kind of a fairy tale, of course- happy endings do work- but fairy tales often do not make the bill.
Take romance books and chick flicks, the modern-day fairy tale. I recognize that many romance books and chick-flick are about escape and happy endings, but that just doesn't sell for me. I'm all for real, fleshed-out characters and real endings that aren't just there for convenience. If there is no way for the couple in the story to be together, then don't do some stupid deus ex machina (the Latin term for a pretty random plot device in a story) but break them up and create a tragedy.
Ultimately, these stories are not authentic. Personally, if it's not authentic, it feels cheap and fake to me. Real characters and real story lines feel so much richer than me than some syrupy sweet, contrived excuse of a story that's been done a thousand times over. Authenticity is so much more effective than any cheap fairy tale trick.
Sometimes, it's even the ending that can ruin a whole story. Take that movie I was watching The Lucky One. I enjoyed the movie overall and the themes it dealt with, but the ending ruined it for me. The ending (which I won't reveal) was corny, easy and ineffectual overall. If that's the ending of the book it was based on, shame on Nicholas Sparks. Instead of having a more uncertain and difficult ending, he went with the easy way- creating a lot of drama from a far-fetched event and having the story end with everything tied up. Considering the richness of the stories that I've read and watched (in move form) in general, it was quite disappointing coming from him.
Of course, I know that most who enjoy these kind of endings and movies will argue that, "It's just a story. It's not real." They enjoy it because it's so different from a reality that they don't feel like dealing with. However, I think they are depriving themselves of a real story. It's still entirely able to escape via stories that aren't entirely stupid.
The romantics might enjoy this, but I don't. I like something that's real.