I won't let the last thirty seconds ruin the movie for me. A masterpiece.
Things I learned at a James L. Brooks Q&A:
- This was his first original screenplay.
- He did not have an ending when he started shooting. They shot in sequence and he hoped an ending would reveal itself. (Worked for Casablanca!)
- They did shoot an alternate ending later. He didn't elaborate but said it involved William Hurt getting in Holly Hunter's taxi. He was glad they didn't use it, and cinema breathes a sigh of relief.
This unexpectedly became "family movie night" when my older boy -- he's 8 -- walked into my office and said, "So Star Wars is really about the two droids?" and I said, sort of. I explained that George Lucas had seen Hidden Fortress and liked telling a larger story through the supporting characters. So I showed him the first ten minutes of the movie, reading the subtitles aloud so he could keep up. He loved it. I was worried about…