I don’t care how many times I watch Moulin Rouge, every time Satine dies, I cry. When Christian holds her close and screams “No!” I’m right there with him. Earlier when she’s still alive and it looks like Christian’s going to walk away and Toulouse remembers his line and screams “The greatest gift you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return,” I cheer. Even though I know in a few minutes Satine’s going to die from TB and wreck Christian’s whole world.
I love that movie. I always have. I could watch it every day and not get tired of it. The music, the characters, the story. Every bit of it makes me happy even though it shatters my heart every time.
If the movie didn’t start by telling me Satine died, I’d HATE it. But I know, and I appreciate the story of freedom, beauty, truth and love.
I love a handful of movies other than Moulin Rouge that make me cry: Steel Magnolias, Hope Floats, Beaches. None of them surprise me with deaths used only to trigger emotion. All tell amazing stories.
I write romance novels. I’m a fan of happily ever after. People who pick up my books know they’re in for that ride and not the kill off the main character or make the protagonist the villain book. If an author gives me a heads up in foreshadowing or flat out telling me the end before the beginning, I’ll follow them along that box of Kleenex path, no problem. But if they surprise me with a death just to make me cry or because they don’t want to be classified as romance novelists, I’m not going to be a happy camper.
What about you? Tears or happily ever after? Both or it doesn’t matter?#
I write romance novels and mysteries. Check them out here.