Saturday, June 02, 2007

Pirates 3 (or, A Reminder of Why I Write Romance)

Let me start with a little background. I loved the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie. It was vibrant and original. The fact that I love Orlando Bloom didn't hurt.

I saw the second movie once. I had problems with it for a couple of reasons: first, I didn't love the direction they took with Elizabeth. Second, I thought it tried to do too much. It was packed with plot lines. Don't get me wrong--I enjoyed the movie and found it entertaining. But it lost some of the wonder I'd had in the first movie.

I went to the third movie last weekend. I liked it, thought it was much better than the second movie. It was entertaining, I liked Elizabeth's journey, and Orlando was great. But I don't know if I'll see it again.


Spoilers ahead . . .

. . . so be prepared . . .

Two words: the ending.

For me, part of the pleasure of the first movie was its feel-good ending. That's not evident in the second or third movies. With At World's End, I found myself thinking about the ending for days afterward. On one level, that makes it a success. But it disturbed me.

Not every movie or book has a happy ending, and that's fine with me. But I'd hoped Pirates 3 would provide a feel-good ending just like Pirates 1.

I write romance for many reasons. One of them is because I love feel-good endings. Life is a cycle, full of ups and downs. Writing romance helps me remember those good times, even when work is hard, health issues are pressing, gas prices are going up, etc.

I won't argue that the ending isn't original. It is. I can't help but admire it on that level. But on a gut level, the movie let me down. It didn't live up to the promise it made--albeit implicitly--in the first movie.

You may disagree, and that's fine. For me, I needed that movie to have a happy ending, and I got bittersweet instead.

It reminded me why I write romance--I love happy endings.

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