Happy Endings in Hollywood Cinema: Clich, Convention and the Final Couple
- Publish Date: 2013-07-30
- Binding: Hardcover
- Author: James MacDowell
The Hollywood 'happy ending' has long been considered among the most famous and standardised features in the whole of narrative filmmaking. Yet, while ceaselessly invoked, this notorious device has received barely any detailed attention from the field of film studies.
This book is thus the first in-depth examination of one of the most overused and under-analysed concepts in discussions of popular cinema. What exactly is the 'happy ending'? Is it simply a clich, as commonly supposed? Why has it earned such an unenviable reputation? What does it, or can it, mean? Concentrating especially on conclusions featuring an ultimate romantic union 'the final couple' this wide-ranging investigation probes traditional associations between the 'happy ending' and homogeneity, closure, 'unrealism', and ideological conservatism, testing widespread assumptions against the evidence offered by a range of classical and contemporary films.
Breaking new critical ground, this book encourages students and scholars of film to reconsider some tenacious critical preconceptions, inviting them to approach afresh their understandings of perhaps the most infamous narrative convention in Hollywood cinema.