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Forget the Hollywood happy ending — two of this year’s buzziest screenwriters say that’s not for them.
Jon Favreau (Chef) cites 1976’s The Bad News Bears and Rocky as a chief examples of the unhappy ending working well.
“The Bad News Bears is a really well-told story where the good guy seems not to be likable and requires clever storytelling and great performance,” says Favreau. “It seems like there’s a lot of conflict, but really there’s a lot of togetherness, and it’s one of those where a lot of people remember that they won in the end, but they really didn’t.”
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl) says seeing the film in theaters when she was 5 was a revelation.
“I’m all about the unhappy ending. I will not give you what you want,” she says. ‘It’s not the most satisfying, it’s the most correct and true. I remember being 5 years old, seeing that movie in theaters and first they lose, and you think, ‘What’s happening now? They lost.’ And then the team comes over and apologizes, and you expect the Bad News Bears to gracefully accept their apology, and instead the kid’s like, ‘Take your trophy and stick it up your ass!’ And I was like, ‘This movie is great!’ “
Favreau and Flynn made their comments during The Hollywood Reporter‘s writer roundtable. The wide-ranging discussion also features Chris Rock (Top Five), Jonathan “Jonah” Nolan (Interstellar), Anthony McCarten (The Theory of Everything) and Graham Moore (The Imitation Game).
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