Don’t you love that feeling you get when the good guy gets the girl at the end?
The (sometimes life-threatening) challenges faced by the protagonist are past. All the hard-work pays off. Since you’ve been through the trials along with the main character, you rejoice in his victory as though they were your own.
And they all lived happily ever after (and all that jazz). Right?
Well, that’s how we like to think things work out. Usually, a movie will leave it to our imagination to decide whether the kissing in the sunset is meant to last or nothing more than a passing phase.
Other movies, however, decide to take it upon themselves to kill all our hopes for the hero’s happiness by making a sequel that nullifies everything that happened in part 1.
These are the films that create a break-up (whether on or off-screen) that pretty much ruins the ending of the original. The main culprits are:
A Goofy Movie
A Goody Movie portrays the whacky adventures of Goofy and his son, Max as they travel across the country with different motives: Goofy wants to bond with his son while fishing at Lake Destiny, Idaho while Max tries to divert the trip to the concert of a Michael Jackson spoof in Los Angeles.
Max, who’s battling with his hormones as a highschool Freshman, plans to show up at the concert in order to impress Roxanne, who’s probably as attractive as you can expect an anthropomorphic dog to be.
Hey, let’s be glad he’s attracted to his own species and didn’t inherit his father’s affinity for bovine.
So, to cut a long story short, Max and Goofy bond after a near-death experience and make it to the concert. Max wins Roxanne over just by being himself and it looks like things are going to work out for them.
Until we find out they don’t.
In An Extremely Goofy Movie, Max is off to college and Goofy follows suit in order to further his career. The inevitable laughs ensue.
Of all the happens and is discussed in the sequel, there’s one issue that’s never brought up: what happened to Roxanne?
I mean, there’s not even a mention of her.
Look, I get it–it’s high school. Kids seemingly “fall in love,” then break up after two months and move on to the next “love of their life.”
However, considering how pivotal Roxanne was to the plot of the first movie, you’d think they’d at least give absence a side explanation–something along the lines of how they at least acknowledged Vicky Vale in Batman Returns.
Now, some people I’ve talked to have theorized that perhaps Max and Roxanne didn’t break up–maybe they’re just having a long-distance relationship.
As comforting as that theory may be, it present a major problem. In the movie, we see Max flirting with college girls. Who knows how far he took things off-camera/behind closed doors. If he’s still in a relationship with Roxanne, he’s cheating on her. The theory that was reassuring a second ago just made the movie a whole lot worse.
Paul Blart: Mall Cop
In Mall Cop, Kevin James plays the the role of his lifetime: an obscenely obese security guard at a small-town mall who ends up becoming a hero when he stops a group of felons from robbing the mall’s bank.
Throughout the movie, Blart tries to impress, and eventually rescues, Amy–a pretty girl who works at a kiosk at the mall. Naturally, they hook up by the end of the movie. The last thing we see is them getting married while saying their vows on a set of Segways.
Unfortunately, paradise isn’t eternal for Blart. Within the first couple minutes of Mall Cop 2, we learn that Amy divorces Paul just six days after their wedding.
Misfortune is only compounded for the poor guy after his mom is tragically killed by a milk truck. Blart’s left alone to eat himself out of his depression.
The loss of Blart’s wife is given is played to comedic effect here, in the same way it’s done in Austin Powers: The Spy who Shagged Me.
However, I can’t help feeling it was a little too mean-spirited, to the point it offset the humor to a degree. In Austin Powers, the groovy spy quickly shrugs off the fact that Venessa was a fembot all along (something fans are still trying to explain) rather quickly. “I’m single again, baby!”
Austin Powers can get any woman he wants with those crooked teeth and jungly chest hair. Blart, on the other hand, had a once-in-a-lifetime dream relationship come true–and then shattered after six days. Pretty sad stuff.
A guy from a more civilized culture falls in love with a gal from a people at one with nature. A culture clash ensues, with all parties discovering the evils of modernity and the virtues of barbarism along the way (I can see H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard having deep philosophical arguments over Disney films). It’s a concept that’s constantly been rehashed and yet continues to sell.
I guess the idea still felt pretty fresh when Pocahontas was released, which is why it seems to have hit the way it did. The center of the movie’s focus is the love story between the titular character and an open-minded Englishman by the name of John Smith, voiced by Mel Gibson. (On a side note, I just found out John Smith’s friend, Thomas, was voiced by Christian Bale. Wikipedia teaches you something new every day!)
At the end, John Smith leaves for his homeland in order to recover from injuries incurred during the film’s climax. However, the movie leaves you with the feeling that Smith and Pocahontas will end up hooking up again down the line.
However, Pocahontas 2 shatters our illusions for the inter-racial couple. After John Smith is believed to be dead, Pocahontas meets John Rolfe, who helps her establish peace between the Native Americans and King James of England. Although it’s later revealed that John Smith was alive, Pocahontas and Rolfe fall in love and get together.
Now, anyone who cracks open a history book knows John Smith and Pocahontas didn’t get married. So the sequel follows history in that regard (even if the majority of both films is pure fantasy).
I think the thing is that most of us already knew the true story. The ending of the first Pocahontas left the future of the main characters’ relationship ambiguous. Maybe their love wasn’t meant to be and they’d wind up parting ways after all. But the fact that it didn’t explicitly show what happened left the glimmer of hope kindled in our hearts.
But the sequel ruined it by actually showing us exactly what we didn’t want to see: their epic love story was nothing more than a weekend fling.
It’s like Romeo and Juliet. Because they die, we never know what would have been of their relationship had they lived to pursue one another as they pleased. Maybe they would have actually been incompatible and broken up. It happens in real life all the time, especially among adolescents like the titular characters.
But Shakespeare was smart enough not to show that because it would’ve undone everything the protagonists went through in the play.
I guess your average Disney writer is no Shakespeare.
The Princess Diaries
Anne Hathaway’s first picture about a socially-awkward teen who discovers she’s heir to the throne of a made-up kingdom was a major hit for Disney and a favorite among millions of girls around the world.
Throughout the movie, our main character, Mia, pines after a popular kid named Josh. However, at the end, she realizes what a jerk Josh is and hooks up with Michael–the guy who had really been there for her the whole time. This serves to reinforce the movie’s theme of everyone being special and having intrinsic value, no matter your social station.
By the time of Princess Diaries 2, though, Michael is out and Mia is now pining after Chris Pine–an arrogant dude from a noble family.
The sequel is lousy enough as is, but offing Michael in favor of a run-of-the-mill Prince Charming really just undermines the moral the first film was trying to get through. It’s also funny considering Mia and Michael get married in the books.
By the way, I’m talking about the original 1985 Fright Night here, not the lame 2011 remake with Colin Farrell.
Hey, I like David Tennant as much as the next guy, but he’s no Roddy McDowall. And while McLovin always manages to steal the show in whatever he’s in, there’s no way he could top the original Evil Ed. Just look at the guy.
Fright Night, the story of a horror-fan who must stop the evil vampire next-door with the help of his TV idol, is a classic. And I’m just gonna come out and say it: I think it’s better than The Lost Boys. I don’t care how much hate I get: Fright Night is funnier, cooler, and more timeless than its overly ’80s counterpart.
Now, one of the main plot elements of Fright Night involves the main character, Charley Brewster, having to save his girlfriend (Amanda Bearse, who played Marcy in Married with Children) from becoming a vampire. She’s bitten, and unless Charley manages to kill the vampire in time, she’ll eternally be undead.
Of course, he and Roddy McDowall manage to save her in the end and they all live happily ever after.
Then Fright Night Part 2 rolls around.
Charley Brewster is now in college, has a new girlfriend, and ends up going on a whole new vampire-slaying adventure. In reality, it’s a pretty good movie nearly equal to the original
However, Amanda Bearse is nowhere in sight.
I guess in real life people split up all the time–even after they’ve been through life-threatening situations together. Especially when they go to different colleges, couples just split apart (just see the Max/Roxanne section above). It just seems like a shame things didn’t work out after all they went through.
Then again, Charley’s new love interest in Fright Night Part 2 is Traci Lind.
Definitely an upgrade. I suppose sometimes it’s simply best to move on. 😉
So, what sequels have you guys watched that ruined the ending of the original?