Sometimes writers box themselves into corners and don't know how to get out neatly. The quickest solution is to kill off the offending character. That's what they did in 2012.
I enjoyed the movie. It's a worthy escape pic on many levels, totally amazing special effects and the writers kept hitting all the gut-wrenching hot buttons. My DH, who's a private pilot, loved the flying sequences. The writers made the science of this disaster seem completely believable. There's even a memorable Woody Harrelson cameo (an actor of limited range, IMO, who found his true calling as a wacko conspiracy theorist who turned out to be right for a change!)
However (and here is where you need to stop reading if you intend to see the movie and haven't) the writers set up a great love triangle subplot between John Cusack, his ex and her plastic surgeon boyfriend and resolved it horrendously.
They are all decent, heroic people. You can't help but like each of them. Cusack (a writer with one book that didn't do so well to his credit) has pushed his family away. Wife turned to the surgeon who's really terrific with her kids and wants a family (he also happens to have had a few flying lessons and saves the whole lot of them a couple of times.) It's obvious to anyone with eyes that Cusack and his wife will reconnect, but instead of letting her make that choice, the writers killed off the surgeon.
And they didn't even let him die heroically. He was crunched up in a bunch of gears just as they stole away on the "ark" that would save them through the impending flood. After letting him wear the hero mantle several times, his death is just a vehicle for convincing the audience that the danger is real--a task usually delegated to a nameless character wearing a "red shirt."
I was very disappointed. I knew he wouldn't get the girl, but I really wanted him to live!
It was easier for the writers to tie up the loose end by offing him. Our job as writers isn't to take the easy path. Even though this was a subplot, it wouldn't have taken much more than 30 seconds to untie this knot in a more adult manner with the heroine making a conscious choice. And it's an interesting, complicated choice because it's between good and good, not good and evil.
But 2012 isn't that sort of movie. It's an action flick and as such, it delivers. However, if they're going to inject a romance subplot, they shouldn't skate by with such a cheat of a resolution.
Have you seen it? What do you think about love triangles in general? Do you usually dislike the character who's in the middle because they seem to lead on both the others?