love triangle losers
You know what season it is, right? Exactly—a new season for original movies on The Hallmark Channel (“THC”). THC is my most favorite television network for modern romantic comedies and this year they’ve really upped their game with new releases of movies with an autumn theme.
One of my favorite things to do when I have extended “me” time, besides write, is binge-watch television and lucky for me, there were three new Hallmark movies on this Saturday. I devoured all three of them and predict I will watch them again and again (and again), but I thought of something while watching that had never occurred to me before. Do not read the next paragraph if you do not want spoilers for Autumn Dreams or A Country Wedding (although, spoiler alert: both end with a happy ever after. It is THC after all).
In Autumn Dreams, our hero Ben cancels his wedding at the last minute (literally the weekend of) to reunite with his teenage love. In A Country Wedding, the country star cancels his wedding to a famous actress the day before the wedding to declare his love to a childhood friend. As viewers, we root for these couples to get together, but what happened to the jilted fiancé? Was she heartbroken? Pissed? Did she eventually find love too? Ben’s successful fiancé seemed like she was used to getting what she wanted. Well, she wanted to marry Ben and that didn’t happen. And how would an A-list actress really react to being jilted at the altar? With her connections, did she shame her ex-betrothed all over social media and tell the public of his unimpressive “endowment”?
It occurred to me, while watching these highly entertaining, feel-good movies, that while we see our hero and heroine blissfully in love, we never know (or care) about the love triangle loser.
These small screen movies brought to mind jilted lovers in classic big screen romantic comedies. In Sleepless in Seattle, whatever happened to Annie’s allergy-afflicted boyfriend, Walter, after she ditched him for Sam? In You’ve Got Mail, did Kathleen’s ex-boyfriend, journalist Frank get together with the talk show host he flirted with on the air while attempting to save the Little Shop Around the Corner? Did Joe’s egocentric girlfriend Patricia go ballistic when he dumped her after they got stuck in the elevator? We all saw Joe and Kathleen kiss in Riverside Park and Sam and Annie lock eyes and hands at the Empire State Building on Valentine’s Day, but no one gave any thought to the lovers they left behind.
I think someone should write a book about the love triangle losers. Perhaps I will add it to my “To write” list…unless someone beats me to it.
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High five to my fellow Hallmark movie addict! You bring up a very good point about the losers in love triangles. I always wanted to know what happened to Andrew (Patrick Dempsey) in Sweet Home Alabama. (He was so cute!) You should totally write a book on this topic.
He was adorable!! That was a great love triangle because both options were appealing. I hate when they are so obviously skewed in favor of one person. I doubt I’ll write this book, but if done well, I bet it could be a hit 🙂
Typically, the loser in a love triangle is a loser in many areas in life. Sometimes they are narcissistic or any number of negative traits that eventually end a relationship. Sometimes they are the scary loser — romantic (scary) suspense. I read The Witness by Nora Roberts recently and needed a hit of oxygen from holding my breath so much through the book of 500 pages or more. I did not feel a need to know how that person’s life turned out in matters of the heart.
I honestly think the best love triangles are when you DO care about the other person. I really don’t like obvious love triangles when the “winner” is so clear. I want it to be a true matter of the heart.
This is a great idea. I’m always wondering what the rest of the story is, always wondering what happened to the loser. Meredith, you could write this as your NaNo project! 😉
But seriously…what if we did an anthology? Each of us write a short story? That would be fun & interesting & probably downright addictive, just like the THC movies!!!
An anthology could lots of fun!!! Hmmm, I’ll have to think on that one.
Right?! I’m happy to help plan & organize. I love anthologies!!
I am always so giddy over the happy ending I never thought about the loser…
Me too – it was only while binge watching The Hallmark Channel that I started to wonder what happened to the other person. Perhaps I’m getting more sympathetic with age 🙂
Meredith. Listen to me. You have to write this book! When I was reading your post I kept thinking, what would happen if all of the well-known triangle losers from movies and literature wound up on the same island of Survivor? (Or some other interesting setting.) What would happen? Would they form a society in which love triangles are ILLEGAL and punishable by DEATH? Probably.
Maybe they’d pass a law that only circles are allowed. No wait. What would that imply? Maybe just straight lines. Two people walking together from Point A to Point B. Nice and clean. No more messy triangles.
Oh JulieValerie, you’re killing me with all of these book demands! I think you’ve given me a new idea with every post I’ve written lately 🙂 But seriously, I do think this would be a great book. I’m just not sure I’m the best person for the job though.
I think it is the writer in us that makes us think about the losers in these love triangles and wonder what happens to them. I just rewatched 4 Weddings & A Funeral the other day – and same thing. Hugh Grant leaves “Duck Face” at the alter and we’re supposed to just not care about her and be happy that he’s with Andie McDowell. And they made Duck Face just an full-on b***h so we wouldn’t care about her. But really I was thinking “why would he even have considered marrying that b***h for one minute, let alone got all the way up to the alter with her.” But I guess if they made her sympathetic, then everyone watching – not just the writers – would wonder what happens to her. 🙂
In these Hallmark movies, the third person is usually a decent person. Same with most of the romantic comedy movies I mentioned in my post, but you’re right that it’s probably the writer in me that wants to close-out the story. I don’t like loose ends!
Yes, yes, please write a book on love triangle losers. Probably their stories will be much more interesting and realistic than the love triangle winner. P.S. We don’t have cable so I can’t watch the Hallmark movies but I’m a sucker for those Hallmark Hall of Fame DVDs.
My sympathies that you can’t watch Hallmark movies – it’s one of my favorite things to do a cold winter afternoon! I’m thinking an anthology would be a fun project – each person writes her own story about what happened to the loser…
What a fun idea. I never thought about this!
I never had either until recently!
I think what is often interesting about the love triangle loser in these movies is when they’re a decent person, they always seem to take the breakup so well! I was thinking of Patrick Dempsey in “Sweet Home Alabama” too. She leaves him at the altar, and he’s so gracious about it! Same thing in “Sleepless in Seattle” when Meg Ryan breaks up with Bill Pullman. I guess it makes for the happy ending we all want. If the decent, jilted third party has a devastating meltdown, it would kind of put a damper on things. LOL.
I love the idea of writing a story about the love triangle losers! So cool! It makes me want to write a sequel to my first book about the love triangle loser who was actually adorable 🙂 Great post Meredith!
You should write it!!! Glad you enjoyed the post 🙂
Will have to look into it – quite a few people seem very intrigued by what happened after 🙂
Oh yes! What happened to Walter?
Great question to ask, and you definitely write a book about love triangle losers!!
He probably met an equally allergic female and married her 🙂 I’ll think about it – I have so many other books to write and not nearly enough time in the day to do it 🙁