"McRomance. Want some fries with that shake?" -- Frank, 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind'

Film James MacDowell writes poignantly for Alternate Takes about happy endings in films and how actually they're all different and in some aren't as uplifting as they first seem. On Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: "This ending is, in the context of Hollywood cinema, rather extraordinary. The conclusion depicts a united romantic couple embarking on a relationship (as is usually considered the norm for a romantic ‘happy ending’), but it also explicitly states that its characters’ subsequent relationship will likely finally fail for the same reasons as it did the first time. Formally speaking, the ‘happy ending’ - as commonly defined - is certainly present: the couple have fallen in love, are about to begin a relationship, and are framed in a moment of shared bliss in the film’s final frames. Indeed, there is even a mini version of ‘the run’ - that familiar romantic comedy moment at which one half of the couple realises they are in love, and runs (or at least travels) to tell the other how (s)he feels. However, the list of things that will likely go wrong for the couple, and the following “okay”s that signal that they also accepts the likelihood of the affair’s eventual failure, makes this ending entirely unlike any other Hollywood ‘happy ending’ I have come across."

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