Monday, June 16, 2014

My Favorite Year Has Something Gone With The Wind Lacked by Donna Michaels


I love Peter O’Toole. Handsome, debonair, gorgeous blue eyes, killer accent. Clark Gable is the epitome of tall, dark and handsome. Both are wonderful hero inspirations and were enough to draw me to their movies.

As a screenwriter, I loved both My Favorite Year and Gone With The Wind for different reasons.
MFY has several well-rounded fundamentals, blending drama with splashes of humor and a small added romantic element. The audience can relate to the part of Benjy being a fan of a famous movie star, and root, not only for him, but Peter’s character Allan, as the young writer tries to help and encourage the older star to ‘dry’ up, take charge of his personal life and make amends with his estranged daughter. It’s a feel good movie that puts a smile on your face as the credits roll.
GWTW is epic. Pure and simple. A masterpiece. Great, dramatic writing and acting, and the fact it was adapted from a Pulitzer Prize winning book, written by a woman, is wonderful. Drama and romance blend to create an exceptional story that sticks with you long after the credits roll.
As a romance writer, I can’t exactly say I love both movies.
Don’t hate me but, as I’m sure you’ve figured out, I do have a bit of a problem with GWTW. Again, please don’t hate me, and yes, I’m being a bit of a princess diva, but IMHO I didn’t get my HEA. I’m probably not the only one who feels this way, but as far as I know, I’m the only one who is foolish enough to voice my opinion. And that's all this is, my opinion. It doesn't mean I hate the movie, because I don't. I love it. But, hey, I write romance, for goodness sake. And all my romances are HEA. Sure, Rhett and Scarlett are volatile, and they both wronged each other, but maybe if they worked through their issues, compromised, apologized for their shortcomings, they could take it slow and work on rebuilding, not only Tara, but their relationship.
I’m just kidding with you. You can’t change the ending, then the movie wouldn’t be so epic. Wouldn’t stick in your mind. Wouldn’t draw such strong reactions from people like me. ☺ And, it’s okay, really. I’ve already written a different ending in my head, and my Rhett and Scarlett did achieve the HEA that is so important to me as a romance author.  
Have you ever done that? Rewrote the ending to a movie or book in your head?

I haven’t written an epic, Pulitzer Prize winning novel, but I do have a few happily-ever-after romance novels out there that have received reviewer top picks and some wonderful reader emails. My latest, HER FOREVER COWBOY, Book 4/Kevin in my Harland County Series hit three Amazon Top Ten Lists this past week: Best Selling, Top Rated and Hot New Releases. I’m so humbled. Thank you to all who helped make that possible. ♥

Thanks for reading,


Jannine Gallant said...

I agree that I was disappointed not to get the HEA in GWTW. But, even as a teen reading the book, I knew it wouldn't end there. It couldn't. For that reason I was okay with it. But I sure wish there had been a decent sequel to wrap up the loose ends!

Margo Hoornstra said...

Maybe the lack of a HEA in GWTW is what spurred all of us romance writers to provide the HEA in the books we write. Could be. I thought there was a sequel, but didn't it kind of fall flat?

Donna Michaels said...

Hi, Jannine and Margo! I do believe there was a sequel, but the 'ending' in my head was good enough for me. lol

I'm better there are a few romance authors out there who were spurred to write HEA's because of that wonderful movie. :-)

Betsy Ashton said...

Oh my, there have been sequels. One was called Scarlett and was, how do I say this, dreadful. Authorized by the Mitchell estate, it bombed. Rightfully. Rhett Butler's People was also sanctioned by the estate. Slightly better, but not by much. Leave the book well enough alone. No HEA? Okay. I still liked it. Great post, Donna.

Donna Michaels said...

Thanks, Betsy, and I agree, the sequels didn't work. The book was great. Just go ahead and create your own HEA in your head if you need one, like I did. :-)

Alicia Dean said...

So sorry I'm late. Great post. And, I promise not to hate you. :) I agree with you, for one, I think fans over the decades have imagined their own HEA, and that got them through. Also, and I think this is a big one, Scarlett saying she would get him back, after all, tomorrow is another day, gave us all the assurance of an HEA, because we all know that when Scarlett put her mind to something, she got results. :) So, I don't think any of us really believed the end was actually the end.

I also agree that it wouldn't have been the same lasting, epic classic had it had an HEA. The longing and speculation had a party in making it so well-loved and durable, IMO.

UGH...yes, the sequel sucked!!!

Leah St. James said...

Another great love story without the HEA (as far as romance) was Casablanca. Every time I see it, I struggle with which guy to root for! The amazing thing is that it was scripted on the fly. (At least that's what I've read.) Great post, Donna. (And I'm sorry I'm late as well!)