The other day I was reading an (old) article about Roger Ebert's reviews for movies he really hated. Down in the comments, folks began talking about one of the movies in particular and one person made a very interesting comment:
I think an ending that says "the entire movie you just watched never actually happened" is just about one step above "it was all a dream." I don't like walking out of a theater thinking that there's a chance that nothing I just saw mattered and I was tricked.
I am certainly not arguing that this person is wrong, I can completely see where that opinion comes from, but I immediately thought: "why?" Why can we accept so much from our fiction (superheroes, talking alien robots, The Rock) but a simple reminder that our fiction is fiction yanks us out of it?
Back in 2011, when DC launched "The New 52," I remember taking it badly. The universe I had grown to know and love was GONE 4EVR. Never mind the fact that "my" universe had already replaced another that came before it back in 1986. Now, four years later, we might even be moving to yet another new universe with all this Convergence stuff.
... and again: all this headache over stuff that really isn't real in a physical sense. Yet it is real, isn't it?