I’m Just a Boy Saying No Means No

Last night, I caught The Break Up on TBS and watched it because I hadn’t seen it before, and I knew Jenn Anniston and Vince Vaughn didn’t end up together in the end. Consensus? Annoying in parts, but altogether, a sense of reality in it that I appreciated. Then I started thinking through what other films didn’t end up with the couple getting together. The all-too-familiar (500) Days of SummerMy Best Friend’s Wedding. Up in the Air. A Google search later, I then recalled The Time Traveler’s Wife (separation by time travel), Titanic (death by a really big boat sinking), Nights in Rodanthe (separation by death – thanks once again, Nicholas Sparks), The Bourne Supremacy (separation by murder), or even Batman Begins or the first of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man (separation by a “higher calling” – I always laughed at the end when Spiderman refused Mary-Jane. I know, what’s wrong with me?).

And then I thought, hey, what if we could mess with the endings of those movies with the happily-ever-afters, and make them not happily-ever-after? Are there films that would be better off where the guy and girl didn’t get together? I think so. Here’s a list of movies with couples that I would not let them end up together, whether it’s just for kicks and giggles, or because I never would have put those two people together in the first place.

Eddie and Paige in The Prince and Me

Eddie (Luke Mably) and Paige (Julia Stiles) were never meant to be together. One was meant to run a country, the other was meant for higher education. There never should have been a second and third sequel to this film, with the main roles getting changed out each time. The idea was simple and sweet enough in the beginning, but having a future king of a country return to the states and let a girl know that he’ll wait “however long it takes,” just isn’t realistic, much less workable. Talk about pressure on the girl!

Aragorn and Arwen in The Return of the King

I wish that Aragorn (Viggo Mortenson) would have directed the words “I cannot give you what you seek” to Arwen (Liv Tyler) and not to Eowyn (Miranda Otto). I have yet to finish reading The Return of the King, but from a movie viewer perspective, I would have rather cheered on Aragorn kissing Eowyn in the end than Arwen. Both Eowyn and Aragorn have that whole fighting warrior thing down, and they definitely have an immediate chemistry when they meet.

Bryan and Annie in Father of the Bride

I’m on the dad’s side (Steve Martin) from the beginning. Although Annie (Kimberly Williams-Paisely) getting engaged to Bryan (George Newbern) and planning a crazy wedding makes for an interesting premise, in the end, I rather have seen Bryan be sent on his way than sadly watching George struggle to share a moment with Annie after the wedding. Any guy who starts putting his hand on a girl’s leg in front of her father the first time he meets him isn’t classy or smart.

Henry and Danielle in Ever After

This is more for comical reasons than any other. So Danielle’s (Drew Barrymore) a liar and Henry’s (Dougray Scott) a jerk. The two have flaws, but seemingly are perfect for each other. But what would have happened had Henry chosen Marguerite over Danielle? I could imagine the film ending with rain lightly tapping the glass slipper, the camera zooming out, and the step-mother (Anjelica Huston) laughing manically in the background. You have to admit you’re curious now, right?

William and Anna in Notting Hill

And now the title of this post becomes relevant. The titular line in Notting Hill is told by Anna Scott (Julia Roberts) to William (Hugh Grant): “I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.” What if William’s response was, “Well I’m just a boy, and no means no.” A little harsh, sure, but then again, to reject that line altogether–and spoken by the most famous movie star at the time–was a little harsh. I appreciated the idea of a normal person rejecting a movie star. It made sense. But then again, he showed a more human element of himself when he begged to have her back.

Jake and Melanie in Sweet Home Alabama

This choice may really make people mad. Frankly, I’m OK with the movie’s ending. I mean, if had to choose between Patrick Dempsey and Josh Lucas, I would struggle too. I get it, two people reconnected through the South and family and life. But what about poor Andrew (Patrick Dempsey)? He didn’t do anything wrong, yet he gets rejected in the end. Melanie (Reese Witherspoon) accepted his proposal! It’s like watching an episode of The Bachelorette, and Melanie changing her mind after the final rose.

OK, I’m fresh out of ideas. Your turn – who would you have liked to see break up, or never end up together? Or how about the reverse – was there ever a couple you wish would have gotten together in the end?  Sound off in the comments.

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8 thoughts on “I’m Just a Boy Saying No Means No

  1. Goooooood call on Aragorn and Arwen!!!! He totally should have ended up with Eowyn… she rocked way harder then the boring little pixie. I love romances that are cut fatally short by death or despair… Titanic, Romeo and Juliet… it’s like Kurt Cobain said ‘better to burn out than to fade away’.

    Keanu and Swayze should have hooked up at the end of Point Break. I was kind of hoping for a different, shocking and sad ending to The Artist too, though I ended up liking the joy of it all in the end!

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    • Ha, thanks, Pete! Totally agree. LOL, love your description of Arwen (“boring little pixie”). Wow, you crack me up, Pete! Glad to know I’m not the only one who doesn’t mind messing with a little happily ever after.

      You wanted a different end to The Artist? Ha! I think it might have been TOO depressing if he killed himself too. He only lost his career, sold everything he had, and had his wife walk out on him. What about the dog then? Glad you liked the joy in it – I don’t think I could have handled the movie had he killed himself too! Haha.

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  2. Wow. That would have been a completely different way to take “Father of the Bride.” But bold! So bold! I like it. I wish that alternate ending was on the DVD.

    And I agree with the inclusion of “Notting Hill.” It seemed like the sadness surrounding the Julia Roberts character would have taken that in a sadder direction. It would have fit well. Alas, it’s Hollywood.

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    • Hahaha, yeah, I know. I enjoy the idea of messing a little with plot lines and I like dreaming up new sequences in place of current ones. Thanks! I think the story would really go in a different direction, but I think it would be entertaining nonetheless 🙂

      Yeah, I actually very much enjoyed the ending of Notting Hill, but from a realistic stance, I could hardly imagine it working out the way it did. As you said, Nick, it’s Hollywood!

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  3. Great post, Kristin, I love how your intro explained the inspiration for your post. Wow, there certainly are a lot of rom-coms that would’ve been more intriguing if the lovers did not end up together. Dear Frankie is one of those movies I LOVE because of that reason, though yes I do wish they’d end up together eventually. Oh, Roman Holiday is obviously one where I wish the couple would also end up together, but of course the film is far more heart-wrenching & memorable because they didn’t.

    I do think Aragorn and Arwen belong together though, as much as I empathize with Eowyn being so heartbroken (but hey, she’s got Faramir so it’s all good) 🙂

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    • Thanks, Ruth! I was definitely a little skeptical of MYSELF going into writing it, but I wanted to do something a little different. So true! I have never seen Dear Frankie. I DID think of Roman Holiday, however, and I was like, I bet Ruth is thinking of that movie if she reads this post! I have been wanting to see it for some time now, so I hope to get to it sooner rather than later.

      Haha, I was thinking the same thing. I’m happy for Eowyn because I think her and Faramir are a good match, but at the same time, it still irks me with Aragorn ending up with Arwen. Oh well. Perhaps because I have yet to finish reading Return of the King (and Arwen’s name is mentioned only 1 time in the two preceding books – no dialogue or action given to her).

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  4. Great idea for a post! I think movies where the couple doesn’t end up together are much more memorable, if only because it rarely happens. What about Harry Potter where Ron and Hermione don’t end up together! Yes, we Harmony shippers can keep on dreaming even though it’s over ahaha….

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    • Thanks, Castor! So true. Wow, I didn’t even think of Ron and Hermione! In the end, I was happy they got together, although I was actually hoping more for Harry and Hermione (call me crazy, I know) to get together.

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