April 05, 2005


I'm trying to get into the swing of things by reading blogs again. CaliValleygGirl has a funny tangential story about going to see Team America in Germany. Today is the DVD release date, and if they have it here, I'm buying it right after school.

I remember plenty of jokes about "American endings" when I lived in France. Europeans derisively called anything that worked out too perfectly an American ending, but we Americans like these stories. Our movies are modern day fairy tales where the good guys always win and the guy always gets the girl.

I'm also convinced that Flight 93 would've crashed into the White House or whatever its destination if the passengers on board hadn't been raised on good old fashioned Hollywood movies. If these men and women had never seen Passenger 57 or Air Force One, they might never have thought that they could've overpower the hijackers. One of the men on board even had a Superman tatoo; they were steeped in American culture and taught from day one that they can do anything they put their minds to. I honestly believe this is what brought Flight 93 down in a field instead of in D.C., and I'm ever grateful for the bravery those passengers showed.

But would they have had the guts to do it if they hadn't seen Wesley Snipes do it first?

Posted by Sarah at April 5, 2005 01:31 PM

"Today is the DVD release date, and if they have it here, I'm buying it right after school."

Did you get it, or were they sold out?

It's not being released in the US until May 17th:


It hasn't even come out in theatres in parts of Europe yet - or Japan:


Japan will also get STAR WARS episode III late for some reason.

In Japan, "American endings" are called ハッピーエンド "happii endo" (note: not エンディング endingu).

"But would they have had the guts to do it if they hadn't seen Wesley Snipes do it first?"

Probably. You don't have to see American movies to absorb the American message.

Posted by: Amritas at April 5, 2005 09:29 PM

I like American endings. If I pay close to 10 bucks to see a movie, I want to be entertained and I'd rather leave feeling good than felling depressed or angry. Most of the French movies I've seen (even the "comedies") have been unutterably dark.

Posted by: Pamela at April 5, 2005 09:41 PM


That would, of course, be "feeling".

Posted by: Pamela at April 5, 2005 09:42 PM

Sadly, like many cultures these days, the French and Germans are molding their identity about being "not American".

That means to have a happy ending is a betrayal, to portray good vs. evil is a sellout of culture.

While there's no doubt that French and German filmmakers could make good movies if they rid themselves of such a silly notion, what I see on IFC and Sundance cable channels demonstrate to me that's just not the case yet.

Posted by: Sean at April 6, 2005 09:08 PM

I've seen a few *really* good French and German movies, but agree that a lot of the hoity-toity ones just come off as crap.

Counterexamples include Run Lola Run, City of Lost Children, and pretty much anything with Jean Reno in it.

Posted by: James at April 7, 2005 11:28 PM

The last good French films that I saw (at a theater) were "Horseman on the Roof" and "Brotherhood of the Wolf"...very American films with mostly American endings.

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