'Tangled': We make fun of happy endings, and yet, we demand them

Flynn-tangled

SPOILER ALERT: If you go seeTangled, Disney’s take on Rapunzel, there will come a moment when all hope is lost. Rapunzel’s "Mother" (voiced by Donna Murphy) stabs Rapunzel’s love interest, the thief Flynn Rider (voiced by Chuck‘s Zachary Levi), and to save him, Rapunzel (voiced by Mandy Moore) cuts a deal: If Mother lets her heal Flynn with her magic hair, she’ll stay with her forever and Mother can keep using Rapunzel’s gift to keep herself young. Flynn doesn’t want Rapunzel to sacrifice her freedom, and cuts off her hair, which renders it powerless (read: brunette). Flynn then dies. There’s a long enough pause as Rapunzel grieves that it crossed my mind that he may actually stay dead. Perhaps the message is that some people come into your life for a short time and give you the courage to lead a better one, and that 18-year-old Rapunzel didn’t need to find a man, she needed to find herself — and Flynn understood that. Of course, I didn’t really think the movie would end like that, nor did I really want it to apparently: When Flynn lay lifeless, I said "That’s bulls—" — silently to myself, thankfully, since there were children around.

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