celticdragonfly and I got to see The Lake House as part of an actual date, with dinner and everything. It was wonderful, we have to do more of that. I'm grateful to Lee Ann for babysitting and letting us stay out late. It's a good movie for a date, very romantic in an old-fashioned style. The lovers are kept apart, only communicating through a magic mailbox (and I mean magic--there's not even an attempt to explain it). There's no sex (and only half a kiss) which is shocking for a Hollywood product. That's probably a carryover from the Korean original of the movie. It does stay true to Hollywood by having a happy ending, and by making the ending utterly shatter the previous logic of the story. The original (according to rumor) had gone for the tragic ending, and then been forced to change by the test audience.
We agreed that the happy ending was forced--the logic of the story was for the tragedy, and the happy ending was a horrible paradox. But Americans always want a happy ending. Which, thinking about it, is a good thing. Americans insist on happy endings. And we apply that to real life too. So instead of confronting some tragedy with a gallic shrug of acceptance, we wade in and change things. Slavery sucks? Abolish it. Europe overrun by fascists? Join in the war and beat them. Communists preaching the superiority of their system? Demonstrate anything they can do we can do better. Arab dictatorships spawning terrorists? Export democracy. Not that we always succeed, but I think our desire for happy endings gets better results than cynicism or fatalism.
Enough philosophy. The other movie of the weekend was Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. I liked it, but not as much as I did the original. I knew it was the middle part of a trilogy going in, so the ending didn't bother me. It's just that "Curse of the Black Pearl" was a sea story with some ghosts in it, while this was a ghost story that happened to take place at sea. I like the former more, it's the kind of story where the humans can make a difference through wit, hard work, and bravery, instead of depending on luck and fate. I'm still going to see the third movie. Hopefully it'll be a bit more on the human scale this time.