[This post deals with endings, so yes there will be SPOILERS. You’ve been warned!]
We've all had that moment, that “why are you doing that at the end?” moment. It’s where we curse at the screen for the stupidity or carelessness of one of the characters. It’s where we ask ourselves if the entire experience is worth it if it comes to this ending. We might even yell at the screen once we see it. In any case, we would do anything to change the ending; or at least, wish we could play a small part in it. In honor of that, here are a few movies where I wish I could change the ending.
First, there is the ending to The Sound of Music. Rolf is the young man that the oldest girl, Lisel, falls in love with. But after the Nazi party takes over Austria, he becomes different man. He is all business and ignores his relationship with Lisel. On the day they are going to escape, they are forced to hide out in the Abbey. All the other Nazi soldiers leave but Rolf hides behind a gravestone. After the family comes out of their hiding spot, Rolf appears and the father, Captain Von Trapp, slowly walks to toward Rolf while Rolf has a gun trained on them, while the others in the family steal away. Finally the Captain grabs the gun and says, “You’ll never be one of them.” Now, in the original ending, Rolf, insulted, quickly blows his whistle, and sounds the alarm. I was disappointed with that part of the ending. Yes, the family did get away in the next scene (the nuns steal parts of the cars so they can’t run), but I wanted Rolf to run away with them. I would have him bow his head and say that the Captain was right. Then the Captain would ask Rolf to run away with him, to leave this terrible situation and not look back. And Rolf would go with them into Switzerland. That would be the ideal Sound of Music ending for me.
Another ending that I would definitely change is the end of The Last Battle of the Chronicles of Narnia. In that story, Susan the oldest girl has become more interested in clothes and boys than in the world of Narnia. As such, she misses “the call” to return to Narnia at the end. I know C.S. Lewis was trying to make a statement about going astray, but to me it rings as false. At the end, Susan should have realized her mistake and repented. She would join them and say what a fool she was for not remembering the wonderful things that Aslan the ruler of Narnia did for them. And then she wouldn’t stay separated from her siblings forever, because that is what the ending implies.
This one is bad just for the silly/stupid way it was forced into the movie. In (500) Days of Summer, Tom Hansen meets Summer Finn. As shown with the wildly frantic back and forth of the dates, Tom and Summer meet, he falls in love with her and they have a short relationship, but they do not end up together. By the end, she is engaged with someone else and Tom needs to move on with his life. So he goes to a job interview and meets a girl also interviewing for the same job, and decides to ask her out. The girl’s name is Autumn. The problem with this ending is that it feels nothing more than the writers saying, hey, look how clever we are. I would have the entire scene of meeting the girl completely out – maybe just have the job interview. Or maybe the girl would have a different name. But not one that was so cringing.
So sometimes it comes down to one simple thing that can bring out of the story and make you wonder, “They’re ending it like that?” Why did that character have to turn evil? Why did the filmmakers have to be so hokey with the ending? And then the experience and enjoyment of the work is lessened. So what about you? Which ending are you dying to change?