A confession

Having just completed my “I am an almost forty white male and I am sick of white people, especially white men” post, how about a confession? I have, since first seeing it seventeen years ago, come up with happy endings for everyone in Magnolia. I came up with them when I was watching it or right after. And they haven’t changed. Obviously Earl’s dead and hopefully Jimmy Gator dies soon, but Stanley’s dad does start treating him better. Eventually, probably thanks to Jim’s obnoxious Christian help—though hopefully Claudia brings him out of it somehow—but Claudia and Rose get to an okay place. Rose is okay. Frank and Linda have an awkward relationship for years, but somehow good. It was never anything stupid like Phil ends up Linda. It was always something like there could be a happy sequel. To Magnolia. Really. Donnie probably doesn’t have too happy of an ending. I mean, it’s not like he’s going to start an outreach program with Linda because it was Earl’s production company and somehow end up helping Stanley and his dad and then Claudia and Rose could get in on it and then Frank and Jim would be there and maybe even Orlando Jones would get to show up in this cut and, Phil, of course, Phil would be there. And then they could all sing some amazing happy Aimee Mann song in a giant musical number. It’s unlikely, if only because Aimee Mann still hasn’t written a really happy song. Not a big enough one. No, you’re listening to the Springsteen cover of This Land Is Your Land. Incidentally, Springsteen live song intros are amazing but his intro to This Land Is Your Land live at the Memorial Coliseum from the “Born in the U.S.A.” tour is even more amazing because he’s in his beefcake stage but being smart. Anyway, an Aimee Mann song like This Land Is Your Land. Or, I guess, Imagine (but without the baggage). Because what Anderson did in Magnolia was capture everyone’s broken dreams. And then, after the cast is done holding hands and singing the Aimee Mann song, the world closes around them and LA and the planet and it’s because all a dew drop to a frog. Or something. Something amazing and way too much. Because Magnolia is a cynical sentimentalist’s day dream. Not the characters, but its audience.

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