Humor by Michael Showalter

There's a movie out in theaters now called "Conviction."

It tells the true story of Betty Anne Waters (played in the film by Hilary Swank) a working mother who spent over a decade educating herself so that she could become a lawyer just to prove her brother Kenny was innocent 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 18 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 . . . um . . . he fell off a wall and died.

You can just imagine the ensuing argument between family members. "Why'd you have to get all those degrees, Betty?! He was doing just fine in prison! He was taking correspondence classes and making belts!"

Gee, I wonder why filmmakers left out that part about his death? Oh, I know. It's a huge bummer. It's the ultimate anticlimax, and Hollywood sure does hate an anticlimax. Oh, Hollywood.

Can you imagine if all of our favorite movies had an anticlimax?

"Rocky is a small-time boxer who gets a chance to fight 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, he will come', a man builds a baseball field in his backyard so that "he will come." The man waits for a long time and he doesn't come. Nobody else comes, either. The End."

"Keanu Reeves plays Neo, an 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. The End."

Come to think of it, I'm glad "Conviction" left out the bummer ending. 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 his sister struggled for 18 years to get him released from prison and then succeed, Kenny came home and then 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.

Michael Showalter is the guy behind the hit comedy film "Wet Hot American Summer," as well as "The Michael Showalter Showalter" and numerous comedy productions.

Humor & Satire

Article: Copyright © Tribune Media Services