Sunday, 8 May 2016

My Favourite Movie Endings

by Ellen Latham

Although not as iconic as Independence Day, or as clichéd as Brave Heart, here are some of my favourite monologues and dialogues from the endings of some amazing coming of age movies (Spoiler alert).

Ferris Bueller's Day Off
This first one is from The Perks of Being a Wallflower, although originally a book first, written by Stephen Chbosky, this monologue comes at the end of the movie, when the main character Charlie, the innocent, cute young teenager with a troubled past is finally able to move on from who he was to who he has become, accompanied by the two most incredible and eccentric characters you may ever meet. Even without the memorable scene of Charlie standing up on the back of a moving truck, accompanied by David Bowie’s Heroes, this speech still speaks volumes to the adolescent audience about finding yourself, and learning to be happy.

‘I don't know if I'll have time to write anymore letters, because I might be too busy trying to participate. So if this does end up being the last letter, I just want you to know that I was in a bad place before I started high school, and you helped me. Even if you didn't know what I was talking about, or knew someone who's gone through it, you made me not feel alone.
       Because I know there are people who say all these things don't happen, and there are people who forget what it's like to be sixteen when they turn seventeen. And these will all be stories someday, and out pictures will become old photographs. We’ll all become someone’s mom or dad. But right now, these moments are not stories. This is happening. I am here, and I am looking at her. And she is so beautiful. I can see it. This one moment when you know you're not a sad story. You are alive. And you stand up and you see the lights on the buildings and everything that makes you wonder. And you're listening to that song, on that drive with the people you love most in this world. And in this moment, I swear; we are Infinite.’
-The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Perhaps a more iconic speech from a movie known to all, comes the final essay written and narrated by the character Brian Johnson, from The Breakfast Club. Written in the style of a letter, similar to the above extract, The Breakfast Club focuses on prejudice and stereotypes that teenagers experience in school from their peers as well as their teachers. In that classic John Hughes style, we go on an emotional journey of self-discovery with five teenagers, with only the library and a few corridors to set the scene. In fact, during the movie, very little happens. The plot, which is somewhat limited, is replaced with heart felt speeches and moments of comedy brilliance, not to mention the featured and completely amazing song Don't you (forget about me) by Simple Minds.

‘Dear Mr Vernon,
We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was that we did wrong, but we think you're crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us. In the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out today, is that each one of us is a Brain, and an Athlete, and a Basket Case, a Princess, and a Criminal. Does that answer your question?
Sincerely yours,
The Breakfast Club’
-The Breakfast Club

This next one comes from a more recent indie movie that is less well-known, but still leaves its viewers with a sense of satisfaction and enthusiasm for life. The Spectacular Now, and its main character Sutter Keely, who at the beginning of the movie simply lives in the ‘spectacular now’ with no thought of his future, show the difficulties of being eighteen when life begins to change and adulthood ascends upon us. By the end of the movie Sutter realises what really matters in life and puts aside his immature somewhat naïve views to become man less and less similar to his burnout father. This final monologue is his response to a university application question about hardship in his life, and in classic Sutter style, he sends it late, but that's not the point.

‘My name is Sutter Keely and I am eighteen years old. Compared to other kids, I haven't had that many hardships, not really. Stuff’s happened sure, but stuff always happens, right? But the real challenge in my life, the real hardship, is me. It's always been me. As long as I can remember, I've never not been afraid. Afraid of failure, of letting people down, hurting people, getting hurt. I thought, if I kept my guard up and focuses on other things, other people, if I couldn't even feel it, well then no harm would come to me. I screwed up. Not only did I shut out the pain, but I shut out everything. The good and the bad, until there was nothing. It’s fine to just live in the now, but the best part about now is there's another one tomorrow. And I'm gonna start making them count.
Sutter Keely

I don't know if this essay was due a long time ago, probably was. That's fine. It may be too late for this essay, but it's not too late for me.
-The Spectacular Now

 Finally, to end my list, another John Hughes creation, Ferris Bueller's Day Off. One could argue, that similar to the Breakfast Club, this movie lacks a plot, or in this case a coherent storyline, as one second Ferris is narrating his life from his swimming pool in the back garden, to singing the Beatles on top of a parade float in downtown Chicago. But we still love it because of its originality. From Ferris speaking directly to the audience, to the hilarious phone call with the headmaster, and the monotonous teacher taking the register, this movie oozes rebellious teenage behaviour and puts a smile on everyone's face. 

Although there were hundreds of monologues from Ferris I could have picked, this one, delivered by Cameron towards the end of the movie has potentially the most meaning. Cameron, Ferris’ best friend and hijacker of his father’s Ferrari is, throughout the movie, terrified of his father. However, this conversation between Ferris and Cameron is the first time we see Cameron stand up for himself and face his father, giving a more meaningful end to an otherwise comedy based movie. One film theory, although a bit out there, is that Ferris and the events of the day don't exist and never happened. Cameron never left his bed, and Ferris and the destruction of his Father’s Ferrari are all in his head to help him finally stand up to his father. Either way, the movie is amazing and this speech shows Cameron’s internal conflict and bravery over what has happened and what he needs to do.

‘”Cameron it's my fault. I'll take the heat for it. We’ll wait for your father to come home and when he gets here I'll tell him I did it. He hates me anyway.”
“No. I'll take it. No I'll take it.”
“No, no. You don't want this much heat.”
“I want it. If I didn't want it, I wouldn't have let you take the car out this morning.”
“I made you take the car out this morning!”
“I could've stopped you. It is possible to stop Mr Ferris Bueller, you know. No, I want it, I'm gonna take it. That's it. When Morris gets home, he and I will just have a little chat. It's cool. No, it's gonna be good. Thanks anyway.”’
-Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

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