Watching a movie is a lot like going on a first date: It’s potentially a happy financial and emotional commitment…
…until it comes crashing down at the end and popcorn gets spilled all over your brand new skinny bootcut jeans.
The result is something I call “Ending Anxiety” (EA). I’ve suffered from it for about three years now, and it hasn’t showed any signs of fading.
What is it?
It’s that tingling feeling you may get as you approach the end of a movie, the exciting buzz that an end is near. What’s going to happen?! Which path will Tom Hanks choose after being stranded on a remote island with an unopened FedEx package and a Wilsons Sporting Goods volleyball?! Will Robin Williams choose to be reborn so him and his wife can have another chance at life?!
I won’t ruin the endings of Cast Away and What Dreams May Come, respectively, but I remember being severely let down by both. And here’s the thing: EA doesn’t only apply to movies you’ve been enjoying from beginning to (almost) end. Sometimes, as with WDMC, you sit through a disorienting film, hoping that it’s going to come together by the roll of the credits until it doesn’t and you start wishing you would’ve skipped the movie and just gone for that Chipopo burrito next door.
[Brief interval while my mouth waters.]
It works the other way, too, as solid movies sometimes turn sour in their final moments. And sometimes even in the very, very last shot. (500) Days of Summer. Massive cough. Massive cough. (500) Days of Summer. (“Autumn” followed by a wink to camera? Stop it.)
So what are some EA remedies? I think the only thing you can do is prepare for a disappointing ending by having a few of your favorite things within arm’s reach. That way, the ending to your experience of watching a movie like, say, (500) Days of Summer, could go something like this:
Tom looks at the camera and, like a proper fool, winks.
You reach for your already unwrapped Chipopo chicken burrito filled with lettuce, cheese, sour cream, green peppers, mild tomato mix, and—if it’s a Friday—extra guacamole.
You, like a hero, smile.
Now that’s more like it.
Blog post may or may not have been commissioned by Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. and its delicious affiliates.