and then he slipped on a banana peel and died. the end.

There’s a movie out in theaters now called, “Conviction.” It tells the true story of Betty Anne Waters (played in the film by Hillary Swank) a working mother who spent over a decade educating herself so that she could become a lawyer just to prove her brother was not guilty of a murder that sent him to prison for life without parole. With the help of attorney Barry Scheck’s Innocence Project she was able to show through DNA that the blood found at the murder scene was not her brother’s and then after 18 years in prison, her brother was finally declared innocent and set free. It is an amazing and uplifting human story with a heartwarming and satisfying ending.

Here’s what they don’t tell you in the movie: six months after being released from prison the brother fell off a wall and died. Yep. You heard me right. Six months after being released from prison the brother fell off a wall and died. He was walking home from dinner with his mother and his brother, he took a short cut home that involved walking on a wall, a wall that he fell off of, and then died.

Can you imagine? This woman spent over ten years putting herself through school! She got a GED, then a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree in education, and then a law degree! She passed the bar exam! She spent eighteen years of her life to get him out of prison! And she did it! She got him out! Against all odds she got him released! And then…he fell off a wall and died.

Gee, I wonder why they left that part out? Oh, I know. It’s a huge bummer. It’s the ultimate anti-climax, and Hollywood sure does hate an anti-climax. Oh, Hollywood.You can just imagine the ensuing argument between family members, “He was doing just fine in prison, Betty! He was taking correspondence classes and making belts!”

Can you imagine if all of our favorite movies had an anti-climax?

“Rocky is a smalltime boxer who gets a chance to fight against the heavyweight champ. On the night of the big fight, Rocky badly stubs his toe walking into the arena and has to postpone the fight. The End.”

“Believing that they are meant to be together, Meg Ryan travels thousands of miles to find Tom Hanks in ‘Sleepless In Seattle.’ She looks everywhere but they never meet and she goes back to Baltimore. The End.”

“Billy Elliot is the son of a coal miner, who loves to dance. With support from the miners in town, Billy and his Dad finally make it to London for the big audition. They return home to anxiously await the ballet school’s decision. He doesn’t get in. The End.”

“After hearing a voice telling him, ‘If you build it they will come’, a man builds a baseball field in his backyard so that “they will come.” He waits for a long time and they don’t come. The End.”

“Keanu Reeves plays ‘Neo’ a unsuspecting hero who must fight the forces of evil to save the world in ‘The Matrix.’ Just as he is about to realize his potential he changes his mind and decides that he doesn’t feel like it.”

Come to think of it, I’m glad they left it out. Who wants a bummer ending? Not me. When I go to a movie I want to feel uplifted, inspired and transported. Without a Hollywood ending I’d feel let down and disappointed. It’s not important that after struggling for 18 years to get him released he fell off a wall and died. It’s really not about that at all. It’s about about the love of family and one woman’s determination. What it’s really about it is the meaning of life. And the meaning of life is…darn, I had it written here in front of me but I think I misplaced it. Oh well. The End.


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Michael Showalter, Steven Simmons, Sean Gardner, Russell Bruhn, Ricardo Santiago and others. Ricardo Santiago said: RT @mshowalter: What Hollywood didn't tell you! My thoughts on the Hillary Swank movie "Conviction" […]

  2. Loved it <3

    Totally made my Tuesday morning. And that's not easy.

  3. I read this blog and smiled and laughed out loud a lot. The End.

  4. Great gigglesnort read Michael!

  5. As I was reading I expected to find out he committed a crime and got himself sent back to prison, so I’m actually happy with the result. It’s an anticlimax, but at least he was just clumsy, not a douchebag.

  6. Gymnopedie Sweet

    they could’ve retitled it “Humpty Dumpty” and filmed the ending at the Great Wall of China for more thrills and spills.

  7. Nicely done, Showalter. I knew you had it in you.

  8. bahahahah that’s def what would happen if my life was an inspirational movie

  9. I hope these are the types of endings you suggest to your students.

  10. I laughed hard.
    Thank you.

    Book Tour ’11!!

  11. just like stephen, the kid in “i know my first name is stephen”. he was kidnapped for 14 years then died 9 years later in a motorcycle accident. AND his brother is a serial killer. man what a downer!

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