> To what end The Happy Ending? My theory about the happy ending theory is that studios recognize the audience must receive perceived-value-for-money. Since the film industry is really an anti-literate subculture, they really don't know how to (a) read, by and large, or (b) articulate what may be missing from their goals and strategies in story development. Their resolution is to demand a "happy ending" "because no one wants to see a sad ending." We all know this is not true, but on a deeper level, there IS some kind of "yearning" by audiences for satisfaction from seeing a movie. Tonight I'm taking Jim Bonnet's course in universal symbolism in story structure (Campbell-haters take note!!) for the second time. His theory is that audiences have a fundamental hunger for stories which articulate universal symbols and truths. An analysis of the great films (I remember someone challenged the concept of "great" a week ago, but _I_ believe in it) shows that they portray architypal stories and symbols in a refreshing guise, thus helping the viewer to make some sense out of her/his reality. Jim's course is valuable not only to screenwriters, but also to writers in general, and those working with dreams and symbols in their own lives. Tying this discussion in with earlier ones on this list, it seems clear that only a multi-disciplinary approach can bring us closer to the nature of film. We have to combine scientific and statistical studies of its effects with an understanding of story structure and symbolism to answer questions such as this one about "happy endings." Anyone interested can give Jim Bonnet a call at 213-277-6268.