V-Day special: Top 10 Happy Endings in the movies
A happy ending! It's the ultimate gift a love story can get. And we all aspire to be a part of one.
That's what makes movies so awesome. They let you do just that. Magical and dreamy, the fruits of a happy ending are all the more enjoyable after the concerned couple has been through a wild ride of ups and down, restoring our faith in all things mush and candy.
With Valentine's Day coming up this weekend, here's a list of my 10 favourite 'And they lived happily ever after ' in no particular order or era.
True's love first kiss is supposed to transform Princess Fiona back to her beautiful form. But it doesn't and she continues to be an ogre. Upset at her failure to change, she sighs, 'I don't understand. I am supposed to be beautiful.' And that's when the gallant Shrek in his cute Scottish accent interrupts, 'But you ARE beautiful.'
And they kiss in golden Hollywood fashion. As if on cue, Donkey echoes the exact sentiment in your head, 'I was hoping this would be a happy ending.'
So I adore the optimism of this Oscar-winning animation classic among a countless other things. It's like this, if an ogre can have it all, so can you. Am I a believer? Hell, yeah!
Image: A scene from Shrek
Ryan Reynolds was just another random actor before I stumped into Definitely, Maybe. Such a talent! Is there any genre he cannot excel in? Comedy, action, drama, sci-fi, superhero, horror, the man aces it all.
Anyway, coming back to this 2008 caper, it's not THE best rom-com ever but it's refreshingly original outlook and backdrop makes it one of my eternal favourites. It's about a man named William Hayes who's been through three significant relationships and is narrating them to her curious daughter. Through various flash backs we come to understand his deep yet romantically unexplored friendship with April (played by Isla Fischer).
Now April's always been on the lookout for a specific copy of Jane Eyre signed by her father, which she lost at some point. As a result of this pursuit, she's accumulated numerous copies of the same. William finally discovers the book in question but hesitates to hand it over. Despite a brief kiss and revelation of his feelings for her, they eventually part ways and William goes on with his life, now a divorced, devoted daddy.
But his daughter recognises this unspoken affection and persuades him to confront her about it. In the final scene, he goes down to her house while she, expectedly, refuses to see him as she cannot understand why he never gave her the book when he knew what it meant to her. The father-daughter duo engage in a what seems like a hopeless countdown. And just when they are walking away, April comes running behind and William tells her, 'I kept the book. Because it was the only thing I had left of you.'
Who on earth wouldn't melt on hearing that?
Image: A scene from Definitely, Maybe
Cameron Crowe's deftly written flick is an all-rounder in more ways than one. It's inspiring, funny, charming, honest, witty and oh-so-romantic. And quite easily features one of the most quoted climatic sentences of all times.
Tom Cruise is Jerry Maguire, a fast-talking sports agent having a bad day at work for some time now. He's married to Dorothy, a single mom hugely inspired by a 'mission statement' he circulated once. The two subsequently get married but it seems more of a cordial arrangement with no real passion leading to a break (which is really a break-up). Meanwhile Jerry finally scores big after his client performs exceptionally at a football game and that's when it hits him. 'Where's my wife? I miss her.'
And so you have Cruise at his disarming best pouring his heart out to a stunned Dorothy (Renee Zellwegger, cute as a button) sitting amidst a bunch of disgruntled, divorced women.
'You complete me,' he concludes.
'You had me at hello,' she confesses.
Awww, awwww and then some more.
Image: A scene from Jerry Maguire
When Harry Met Sally
Despite the contrasts in their personalities, Harry Burns and Sally Allbright (an unforgettable Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan) make quite a couple. They're only best friends. They've been so for years.
While Sally's chases the romantic stereotypes, Harry believes 'a man and a woman can never be friends.' But after they spend a night together, things get a bit complicated between them. Thankfully, around New Year's Eve, Harry realises his folly and runs to meet Sally at a party and win her affection in a quirky yet cute manner that later became a reference point for most rom-coms.
This is what he has to say: I love that you get cold when it's 71 degrees out, I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich, I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts, I love that after I spend a day with you I can still smell your perfume on my clothes and I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it's not because I'm lonely, and it's not because it's New Years Eve. I came here tonight because when you realise you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of the life to start as soon as possible.
Bang! He gets the girl and a super special happy ending.
Image: A scene from When Harry Met Sally
Amelie Poulain enjoys playing Fairy Godmother secretly to whomsoever she can. Her reticence, however, prevents her from enjoying similar contentment for herself.
Eventually, she finds herself attracted to an equally whimsical young man but cannot muster enough courage to talk to him. Instead she plays a game of Catch me if you can, which leads this romance to its enchanting climax.
Against Yann Tiersen's enthralling score, Am lie, lost in wide-eyed reverie imagines her object of affection Nino to be walking inside her apartment, standing right behind her. There's some movement but it's actually just a cat. Losing hope, she begins to cry. Suddenly, the doorbell rings. She looks through the peephole, it's Nino. He passes a slip from under the door that reads he'll back. While he's away a nudge from her invalid friend across the building makes her realise she needs to let go of her inhibitions and embrace love for what it is. Just when she's about to storm outside her apartment to look for Nino, he's standing in front of her.
They share a tender moment followed by a whee-inducing scooter ride through the romance-filled streets of Paris. It doesn't get any more feel-good than this.
Image: A scene from Amelie
Japanese anime auteur Hayao Miyazaki's mastery is seen to be believed in the indescribably adorable interpretation of The Little Mermaid. Ponyo celebrates young, innocent love with such dazzling warmth and vibrancy, it's impossible to stay unaffected.
A beautiful bond is forged between a kind young boy Sosuke and a lively fish who he promptly names Ponyo. As a consequence of tasting human blood, she starts taking a human form but the future of her transformation hangs in jeopardy when Sosuke's affections for her are put to test by a section of underwater deities.
In a bid to rescue a downcast Ponyo, he is confronted by an mesmerizing sea goddess Will he love Ponyo if she's a fish or human? To which he innocuously responds that he loves all Ponyos, impressing everyone with his sincerity. Unlike The Little Mermaid, there's no sad ending here. Instead, Sosuke's kiss works its magic on Ponyo and she reverts to her bouncy girl ways. Cuteness, unlimited.
Image: A scene from Ponyo
Sure, it's implausible. No actress on the brink of superstardom will engage in a romance with her tapori-spewing, black marketeer buddy. Urmila Matondkar's Mili does just that. Can't blame her when it's Aamir Khan's perfectly nuanced ruffian in question.
In Ram Gopal Varma's slice of life drama about Bollywood and a street-smart maverick, starry-eyed hopeful and melancholic superstar, there's no scope for convention.
It's her big day, premiere of her debut film and all when Mili gets a letter from her childhood friend, Munna disclosing his true affections for her before leaving town. Mistaking Mili's friendliness with co-star Kamal for love, he conveys his blessings. She makes a dramatic exit from the movie theatre leaving a befuddled Kamal and a secretly hopeful audience to drive her to Munna's. That's when it's revealed she loves him too. Yippee.
Mili finds Munna and the two immediately break into a childish quibble until Mili hugs him and reciprocates his feelings. And all's well that ends well against the triumphant beats of A R Rahman's thumping score.
Image: A scene from Rangeela
It's not exactly a romantic ending but it's happy nevertheless.
Things get tense between DK (Naseeruddin Shah) and Indu (Shabana Azmi) after she learns about his infidelity and product of the same, a boy named Rahul (Jugal Hansraj). Though their daughters take kindly to his presence adopting him like the brother they never had but always wanted, Indu has a hard time coping with this uneasy development.
In the end, however, DK decides that it is in everyone's best interest to send Rahul back to a boarding school. While Indu has started to feel sympathetic towards Rahul, it's not clear if she's magnanimous enough to not let him go. Tearful goodbyes are exchanged and DK puts Rahul in the train only to realise he's forgotten his water bottle in the car. As he struggles to get back in time, he realises he's missed the train.
A disheartened DK walks back to the car parking only to witness a sight he thought he'd never see. His entire family Rahul, Indu and their two daughters are seated inside brimming with and laughter. He heaves a sigh of relief and thanks Indu like his means it. You do too.
Image: A scene from Masoom
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge
It's not like you're not expecting anything less than a cheerful climax for this one. Yet Aditya Chopra's Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge lends a touch of unpredictability to the dishoom-dishoom filled sequence by not adhering to a stereotypical 'forgive me-forgive yous. '
After Raj has beaten enough bullies, he gets on the train along with his amiable Pops maintaining his stance that he won't take Simran along till he has her father's blessings. All this while Amrish Puri tightly holds on to a restless-to-escape Kajol's arm while making a piercing, testing eye contact with a severely battered and bruised SRK who doesn't blink demonstrating his unwavering love for Simran. As the train begins to move, Puri finally gives in and lets go of her hand saying, 'Ja Simran Ja. Is ladke se zyada pyaar tujhe aur koi nahi kar sakta. Ja beta ja, apne Raj ke paas ja. Ja jile apni zindagi'
And then she runs, just like she did when they met for the first time clasping onto Raj's eager hand to get on the train with the high-pitched la-la-la chorus in full momentum. It's stylish and very, very filmi. Me likes.
Image: A scene from Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge
Breakfast at Tiffany's
This fairy-taleish reworking of Truman Capote's novella epitomizes romance, diamonds, Givenchy and New York City like no other.
Here's what makes The End a cherished movie memory:
Unsure of what to do, unable to commit, Hepburn's sexy yet vulnerable Holly Golightly first lets go of her cat which leads an upset Paul (George Peppard) to give her a piece of his mind: You know what's wrong with you, Miss Whoever-you-are? You're chicken, you've got no guts. You're afraid to stick out your chin and say, 'Okay, life's a fact, people do fall in love, people do belong to each other, because that's the only chance anybody's got for real happiness.'
Then he tosses a ring box in her lap saying he's been carrying it around for months but doesn't want to anymore.
An emotional distraught Holly gets out of the cab and runs down the alley amidst pouring rains in search of her Cat, which she subsequently does and then proceeds to plant a kiss on Paul who's been waiting all along with Moon River playing in the backdrop.
Image: A scene from Breakfast at Tiffany's