Last week in NYC I had a chance to do something I’ve always dreamed of doing. I saw a Broadway show, and as a bonus, I got to see it with a great group of writers (Ava Stone, Heather Boyd, Julie Johnstone, Jane Charles, Sabrina Jeffries and the Tammy half of Lydia Dare). We saw “Wicked”.
What an amazing show! Everything was first rate: the story, singing, dancing, acting, set design, lighting. I was transported to another world and brought to tears. The story was lovely, and the friendship between Elphaba and Glinda so very touching.
I’m a huge fan of the book “Wicked: The Life and Times of The Wicked Witch of the West”. I loved the political overtones and glimpse into the making of a villain. However, I wanted Elphaba to be something different at the end. I cared about her. I didn’t want her to become embittered or to repeat the same patterns of poor parenting with her son that she had endured. I wanted her to have a transformation at the end, but it never happened. And after reading the last words, I wanted to rewrite the ending.
Well, I was giddy with the stage adaptation of “Wicked”. I got the happily-ever-after I wished the book had achieved, and I walked back to the hotel enveloped in a warm glow. I know not everyone enjoys musicals, but most of us who write or read romance do so because we like that warm feeling that comes with a happy ending.
I just finished reading “The Help” on the airplane trip back home. It was such an engaging story all the way to the very end, but for me, it felt incomplete. I know some people like to be left hanging, but all I could think about was how Aibileen would survive. Here was this character I had grown to love, and she might end up homeless. What the heck? I want to write a new ending.
And as long as I’m changing other writers’ masterpieces, Jack is surviving at the end of “Titanic”, Rhett Butler is coming back to Scarlet and saying, “Frankly, my dear, I DO give a damn,” and neither Romeo nor Juliette are really dead. They are living happily under assumed identities, perhaps on a thriving vineyard.
What about you? If you had a magic wand, what books or movies would you like to change to a happy ending?