According to the dictionary, the word ROMANCE is defined as (1) a novel or other prose narrative depicting heroic or marvelous deeds (2) the colorful world, life, or conditions depicted in such tales (3) a medieval narrative, originally one in verse and in some Romance dialect, treating of heroic events (4) a baseless, made-up story, usually full of exaggeration or fanciful invention (5) a romantic spirit, sentiment, emotion, or desire (6) romantic character or quality (7) a romantic affair or experience; a love affair.
Romance Writers of America (R) says that all romantic fiction has a central love story with an emotionally satisfying ending. In other words, a happily-ever-after, or HEA.
Yesterday, I went to see the movie Nights in Rodanthe. The book was written by Nicholas Sparks–who has obviously missed this point. The movie has a wonderful love story. The acting by the principals (Richard Gere and Diane Lane) was wonderful, my favorite actor (Christopher Meloni) played the part of the estranged/soon-to-be-divorced hubby (OMG, he looked fabulous on the big screen…squee!), and the setting on the South Carolina coast was also gorgeous. But, IMHO, the ending sucked eggs. I don’t want to give too much away, but let’s just say that Sparks must live to disappoint the women who paid good money expecting a satisfying ending–a HEA. He did it with Message in a Bottle, and he did it again here, the %$#@&%! One of my friends said she heard him say in an interview that a story wasn’t a love story unless somebody died. Excuse me?
A few years ago I read another of his books, The Rescue, and was enthralled. That book was a wonderful romance, complete with happiness. But was that one made into a movie? N-o-o-o. It didn’t contain the pain factor Sparks loves.
Somebody needs to tell him–and Hollywood–that we want our happily-ever-after. The real world contains enough heartbreak and sadness. I don’t want to see it on the big screen, too. Bring on the romance!!!