It's all I want for my books and movies - to end with and they lived happily ever after (I would have said a happy ending, but I was afraid it would be misconstrued). The plot should be boys meets girl, conflicts arise or bad guys make trouble, bad guys defeated, good guys triumph, and love conquers all. If the plot is going to vary, there should be some sort of disclaimer at the beginning of the book or movie. I don't want to waste my time reading or watching if the ending is tragic (I'm looking at you One Day, Cold Mountain, and Atonement). I want to be entertained and I want everyone to be happy in the end. Real life is difficult and disappointing. Books should be an escape.
I am reading a series now called The Hunger Games. It is a trilogy and I am reading the final book. I have really enjoyed the series, but I have heard that the finale is "frustrating." I was so upset by this notion that I had to ask the person who loaned me the books if she was satisfied with the way the series ended. She said that there is heartbreak along the way, but ultimately the ending is a good one. I have been nervous about reading all week. I feel like I have invested a lot of time getting to know these characters and to care what happens to them. In my mind, there is only one way for the series to end, but I have a feeling the author does not agree with me. I don't want to read an ending that will leave me feeling bad. I don't want to be upset. I just want the good guys to win and for lovers to be together. I am torn up about the book, and I am only 1/3 of the way done. I keep going because I hope the author would not have nurtured these characters through 2 books to make something horrible happen to them in the finale. I hope I am right.
Fairy tales and romance novels have the right idea.