I love movies. I watch them all the time. Mr. Nina and I generally rent 2-3 movies on the weekend. This means we pretty much see everything.
This past weekend he picked up Bad Teacher. This is not a story I would have watched...ever. For one, it's not my kind of humor. But the other big factor is that I don't like movies where people are bullied. I watched it out of the corner of my eye while I was working on some marketing.
Even only half paying attention, it made me really uncomfortable. I thought it was for the reasons I mentioned above, but then I realized...the female protagonist got her happy-ever-after despite the fact that she was rude, conniving and out-of-control. I mean I have no problem with characters in my romance movies or novels being jerks when the story begins. It's what I expect when I start a novel. Because what fun would it be if they were wonderfully perfect people and wanted the one thing that would make them happiest? There would be no conflict. No tension to overcome and make me turn the page. It would be booo-or-ring!
Look at the Beast in the Beauty and the Beast. He's grumpy and angry when Belle comes to the castle. He holds her captive and puts demands on her. Of course she fights back. Everyone is unhappy. But then he slowly opens up, begins growing and changing and Belle sees him as something more than the wild animal she believes him to be. By the time they fall in love both of them have opened their hearts to forever.
But here's the thing...they work for that happy ending.
In Bad Teacher the main character actually sleeps with (sorta) someone else's guy just to be mean. She steals a test and cheats and gets rewarded with a bonus, which she never gave back. She smokes pot in front of a student then plants drugs in another teacher's desk and ends up sending that woman away. She treats her students terribly and still, STILL gets the guy. There was nothing redeemable about her. She didn't try to change. She didn't DESERVE to ride off into the sunset.
And that's the part that bugged me the most. I can't say I've ever read a book like this nor watched any other movie that ended this way. What about you? Ever come across this before and how did you feel about it? I also wonder how bad is too bad for a character before you walk away from the story?