I hate this trope with a passion. I just found it (yesterday? the day before? I don’t recall) and I’ve this wonderful feeling of “Aha! The pain has a NAME! Now I can strike it down with all of my hate, and my journey towards the Dark Side will…” well, you know the feeling. When your pain has a name, it’s easier to focus your attention on other things.

The “Third Act Misunderstanding” is nigh-omnipresent in romance films (both comedies and dramas), used as a crutch by lesser writers to extend the film beyond its natural length by creating an additional dilemma for the couple to overcome before they get together in the final act. The problem I have with it is: “if one or both partners are stupid as to fall into this trap, how do they survive to the ‘happily ever after’ bit?”

It might be the cynic in me (the cynic is strong in this one) but I don’t want to see movies (or read books, or play video games) starring idiots suffering from a total communication failure. I like honesty and communication, with people being smart and solving their problems in an open and pragmatic manner. It doesn’t make for a worse story — it just requires more intelligent writing (than the type we’re normally subjected to).