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I Want My Beloved To Be Happy / Film

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Animated

  • Happens briefly in Anastasia when Dmitri decides to go back to Russia without the massive monetary reward offered to him for reuniting Anastasia and her grandmother because, as he says, "princesses don't marry kitchen boys." But of course, he comes back when she gets in danger, and she goes and makes her beloved happy by renouncing her crown and eloping with him.
  • Near the end of the Disney film Beauty and the Beast, the Beast releases Belle from the castle so that she can help her father. Because the only way for him (and his entire castle) to return to their human forms is for the Beast and Belle to fall in love (to which she has not yet confessed), by allowing his beloved to be happy, he's temporarily doomed them all. Oh, irony.
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  • Joaquin from The Book of Life, really does want Maria to be happy, even if he is not the one to provide said happiness. This is probably why he gave Manolo the medal during the final battle; he cared more that Manolo survived to be with Maria than about his own safety.
  • Brother Bear 2 has a Friend Versus Lover version, when Koda asks the spirits to turn Kenai back into a human, so he can be with Nita. They turn Nita into a bear instead.
  • In Cinderella III: A Twist in Time, Lady Tremaine gets Anastasia engaged to the Prince by magically turning back time a year, brainwashing the Prince into thinking he danced with Anastasia at the ball, and then transfiguring her daughter into Cinderella's likeness when all of the previous fail. Ultimately, Anastasia realizes that no matter how much she loves the Prince and wants a man to love her, the Prince really loves Cinderella. This prompts her to defy her mother and undo all of the damage they'd done. Anastasia is later rewarded when she and a baker fall in love.
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  • At the end of the Disney adaptation of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, where Quasimodo realizes Esmeralda would actually be happy with Phoebus, despite the longing he has for her and the rather petty dislike he initially has for Phoebus. In the end he fully accepts their love and is content to be their friend.
  • There's a variation in Disney's The Princess and the Frog. Our hero, Prince Naveen, is ready to ask Tiana to marry him and help her get the restaurant she's always dreamed of, despite not having a penny himself. "I'll get a job. Maybe two. Maybe three!" Then the riverboat they're sailing on flows past the very site Tiana wants, and she reveals to him that if she doesn't have the money by the very next day, she loses it to a higher bidder. So Naveen sadly scraps his plans and decides to marry Tiana's stinking-rich best friend, Charlotte, so that he can get the money she needs. He's spared having to make this sacrifice when Tiana admits that her dream "wouldn't be complete without you in it," and Charlotte shows her true colors as a rare rich, blonde ditz with a heart of gold in one of the most beautiful Disney climaxes to date. Though she'd always loved princes and wanted to marry one, she was happy just to end at a kiss so Tiana could have her dream.
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  • This occurs in Tangled: Rapunzel promises to be Mother Gothel's prisoner forever if she is allowed to first save Flynn's life. Aware of how seriously Rapunzel takes keeping her promises and not wanting her to be trapped forever by someone who only wants to use her for the healing properties of her magical hair, Flynn cuts Rapunzel's hair off before she can heal him, causing it to lose its power.
  • Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa plays it straight when Melman the giraffe agrees to let King Julien feed him to the volcano gods so that Gloria and Motomoto can survive.
  • Frozen:
    • More like "I Want My Beloved to Be Safe", but almost everything Elsa does is what she perceives as protecting her sister. Her desire for Anna to be happy is more evident in the reprise of "For The First Time in Forever" where she tells Anna to go back home and enjoy her life.
    • Kristoff also does this for Anna when, upon hearing that only an act of true love can save Anna from being frozen from the inside out, he immediately tells her that he's taking her back to Prince Hans, her fiancé, despite Kristoff being in love with her himself and and having disparaged her Less Than One Day Engagement previously.
    • In a platonic example of this trope, Olaf sacrifices his own personal safety to comfort Anna in what is presumably her final moments while she is freezing to death. He risks melting in front of the fireplace to console her because, in his own words, "some people are worth melting for."
    • In the climax of the film, Anna tries to sacrifice her life to protect Elsa from getting killed by Prince Hans.
  • In Shrek 2, Shrek's desire to make Fiona happy drives him to the point that he is willing to let her go to be with Prince Charming. It also drives him to take a potion so that he and Fiona can live out their Happily Ever After in more widely accepted human forms than the ogre forms that are hated by the rest of society, even though he very much prefers being an ogre.
    Donkey: But you love being an ogre!
    Shrek: I know! But I love Fiona more.
    • Though this also ends up being exploited by the Fairy Godmother. When the newly transformed Shrek arrives at the castle, she locks him in a room whilst setting up Prince Charming to convince Fiona that he's really Shrek. Upon seeing them embrace, and being too far away to see Fiona's hesitation and confusion, the Fairy Godmother easily convinces Shrek that Fiona would be happier off with Prince Charming by playing on his existing insecurities.
    • Also an example of parental love is with her father King Harold. He strongly opposed the marriage of Shrek and Fiona and was under threats from the Fairy Godmother to fulfill his promise that Charming and Fiona would be together in return for her turning him into a human years prior. But when he sees how much Fiona hates Charming, he decides to go back on his promise and not let her be miserable.
    • A smaller example comes in the climax. When midnight comes and the potion is about to wear off, turning Shrek and Fiona back into ogres, Fiona turns down the kiss that would make it permanent, letting Shrek be happy as an ogre.
  • Storks: The platonic version of this is apparently the hardest part of the storks job. They have to carefully move a baby across large distances regardless of the danger, but in the end, giving up the baby they've come to love hurts the most. Junior doesn't hesitate in delivering Diamond Destiny to her family, though he struggles with not crying on the way back home.
  • Early in Strange Magic, Sunny is helping Dawn in her attempts to hook up with various guys despite his obvious crush on her. It's his inability to keep doing this and a poisonous friend's suggestion to retrieve a love potion that drives the plot of the movie.
  • In Tarzan, when Tarzan is conflicted about where he truly belongs, Kala shows Tarzan his birth parents' old treehouse to show him his true human heritage and lets him decide for himself.
    Kala: Tarzan, I just want you to be happy, whatever you decide.
    • A similar thing happens at the very end. After Kerchak dies, Tarzan is elected the new leader of the gorillas. Jane and her father are about to go back to England, but Tarzan must stay behind with the gorillas. Jane looks lovingly at Tarzan, which convinces her father that she really loves him, and he tells her to stay with Tarzan. Eventually, Jane's father decides to stay too.

Live-Action

  • The climactic scene of Casablanca. In fact this trope could simply be renamed "We'll always have Paris."
    • Rick gets all the recognition, but Victor Laszlo actually does the same thing earlier — it's because he asks Rick to use the letters of transit to take Ilsa to America that it's a surprise when Rick sends the two of them instead.
    • Rick makes it quite clear that he wants Ilsa to go with Laszlo not to make her happy, but because Laszlo's work fighting the Nazis is more important then they are. And her going with Laszlo will help him do his work better. But Laszlo fits, as he wants Rick to keep Ilsa safe, even if it means Rick and Ilsa go off without him. Rick says that the happiness of all three of them doesn't count:
      "I'm no good at being noble, but it doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you'll understand that."
    • Still, Rick does fall into this trope a bit when he warns Ilsa that if she doesn't leave with Laszlo, she'll eventually come to regret it.
  • Also The Reveal in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.
  • As well as the (far less) climactic scene of Bruce Almighty:
    God: Grace. You want her back?
    Bruce: No. I want her to be happy, no matter what that means. I want her to find someone who will treat her with all the love she deserved from me. I want her to meet someone who will see her always as I do now, through Your eyes.
    God: Now THAT'S a prayer.
  • The Constant Nymph surprisingly gives our antagonist depth by making her realize that she wants Lewis to be happy even if it means losing him forever.
  • Cover Girl (1944): Danny McGuire always wants Rusty Parker to be happy, but he struggles with the question of whether she would be happier staying with him or having a glamorous career.
  • Some Came Running: Ginny tells Gwen straight up that "I want him to have what he wants, even if it's you instead of me." She also offers to leave town if Dave and Gwen are serious.
  • The end of There's Something About Mary shows Ted redeem his earlier behaviour by going out of his way to ensure Mary's happiness by reuniting her with her ex-boyfriend, with the twist that Mary realizes that she'd ultimately be happiest with Ted after her brother DOES NOT FREAK OUT from Ted touching his ears, which is usually his Berserk Button with anyone outside of family. And throughout the film, he was the one person to finally realize that he wanted her to be happy more than he wanted her to be with him. Of all the men who were in "love" with her, he was the only one who put her needs before his own desires.
  • In Bedazzled (2000) (at least the 2000 remake), Elliot uses most of his wishes trying to make Alison fall in love with him. He uses his final wish to give her a happy life instead. He then asks her out normally, and she turns him down. However, he does wind up with someone else who looks identical to her. It also turns to be a contract breaker, since a Selfless Wish nullifies it; like everyone else, Elliot didn't bother to read the Door Stopper contract.
  • This put the "bitter" in the Bittersweet Ending of Imagine Me & You.
  • Han Solo makes a heroic effort in this direction in Return of the Jedi when he thinks that Leia is in love with Luke. Leia quickly disabuses him of his Relative Error, much to Han's relief. And confusion.
  • In The Reckless Moment, crooked Martin Donnelly sacrifices himself by admitting to a murder he didn't commit to protect Lucia from her blackmailer, and therefore, from the police.
  • Norrington from Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, gently admonishing Will to attend to Elizabeth with every ounce of care and devotion (and then some) that Will put into making Norrington's sword.
    • Until the sequel, when he became a vengeful and slightly ridiculous drunk who went back on every single thing he said during the first movie.
    • At least he gets some redemption in "At World's End." (Our destinies were intertwined, Elizabeth...but never joined.") This is his rejection to Elizabeth's offer to join them in their escape from the Flying Dutchman, made the more poignant and heartbreaking when she sees him killed by Bootstrap Bill moments later. This was a man she contemplated marrying, after all.
    • Plus note his vengeful-drunk situation stemmed mostly from having destroyed his fleet in pursuit of Jack Sparrow and the Black Pearl, and most of his anger is directed at Jack for having (in Norrington's view) turned him into the thing he hates, a pirate. That, and he's drunk at the time.
  • The main character of The Butterfly Effect spends the whole movie going back in time to try to end up with the girl, mucking things up more and more, before figuring out that this is the only way to go. In fact, this Aesop is taken to an extreme, as in everyone in the world would be better off without knowing you at all. In an alternate ending, the character figures that out as well, and strangles himself in the womb. God knows why they don't show that one on TV... It's also strongly implied that this alternate ending has happened MANY MANY times before to his mother with previous pregnancies...
  • In the climax of Pixel Perfect, Loretta fully accepts the fact that Roscoe is in love with Samantha and sacrifices herself to save the latter.
  • In Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Knives Chau spends the length of the movie obsessing over Scott, to the point where she dyes her hair partially blue and starts dating Young Neil to try making Scott jealous. The change happens when she attacks Ramona at the Chaos Theatre - not because Ramona is dating Scott, but because Ramona broke Scott's heart. At the end, when Ramona decides to leave Toronto, it seems Knives will get him back in the end. Instead, she urges him to go with Ramona, even joking that she has become too cool for him. In the alternate ending though, it appears that Scot and Knives do end up together again.
  • Played with in Strange Days: Mace is vocally dismissive of Lenny's pathetic pining for his ex-girlfriend Faith, and is quick to remind him that she doesn't love him anymore and that he needs to move on. However, Mace herself is in love with Lenny and ends up reluctantly helping out with his attempts to protect (and win back) Faith because ultimately she wants him to be happy, and he so clearly isn't.
  • A particularly excellent example is in the film Witness. Even though Detective John Book has fallen in love with the Amish widow Rachel, he knows that he would never fit in with her people. He gives his blessing to her union with his rival Daniel (an Amish man who has loved Rachel long before Book arrived), knowing that in the long run he is the man who would make a better husband for her. An example of how affecting this trope is if written well.
  • Some Kind of Wonderful is an instance where a woman decides that she wants her beloved to be happy. Keith Nelson has spent the entire movie pursuing the hottest girl in school, and by the end she's fallen in love with him. But she also realizes that he'd be much happier with his tomboyish best friend Watts (who is very obviously in love with Keith). In the end, Amanda tells Keith to go to Watts and tell her about his feelings for her.
  • Weebo in Flubber. Which is just as well, as she's a non-humanoid robot in love with an (engaged) absent-minded professor.
  • Aggravating example in Jab We Met when Aditya tries to reunited Geet and Anshuman. Subverted because Geet is in love with Aditya at this point, and lets him know it. They then get married and presumably live happily ever after.
  • In The Lord of the Rings Aragorn encourages Arwen to go to the Undying Lands, claiming that they can't be together because he is mortal and she is an elf and eventually, they will part in death. Keep in mind that humans and elves have a different afterlife. Even in death, they will not be together. But in the end, Arwen chooses to live as a mortal, meaning that when she dies, she will go to the human afterlife.
  • Used in Prime. While there's no "other person," Rafi breaks up with Dave, despite his desire to have a baby with her, knowing full well that it's not the right choice for him (he's only 23, much younger than she). Ironically, his willingness to take a step that he KNOWS he's not ready for (he loves her so much he's willing to make that sacrifice) makes her love him even more, but because she loves him so much, she doesn't want to tie him down like that and knows he'll eventually regret the decision.
  • Spoofed hilariously in Hot Shots! the Romantic False Lead insists on putting on a big show of how he's magnanimously letting his girlfriend go so she can be with Charlie Sheen, oblivious to how she's long since fallen out of love with him and just wants him to go away.
  • In the Spider-Man Trilogy film series, Ursula Ditkovich is clearly infatuated with Peter, but when she senses he's in trouble, advises him to call Mary Jane and does what she can to help him.
  • Kal Ho Naa Ho: Aman fixes all the problems of the Kapur household and helps Rohit seduce Naina because he wants her to be happy.
  • Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam - Vanraj spends half the movie helping his wife search for the man she loves.
  • Dosti: Friends Forever: one of the weddings you expect in the first part of the movie is cancelled for this reason. Raj thinks it's unfair to marry Nandini given that he's dying.
  • The artist's story in Love Actually is essentially this. It wasn't the saddest of the storylines.
  • Tinkerbell does this in Hook, where she helps Peter (who's regained his memories of Neverland, but regressed to the point where he's forgotten his adult life) remember his children, rather than letting him remain "her" Peter.
  • Unfaithfully Yours did this as one of the ways Alfred planned to deal with his wife's apparent affair.
  • Going the Distance: Garrett breaks up with Erin in order not to make her choose between him and her dream job.
  • Proxy example in noir film Out of the Past: the hero instructs his deaf sidekick to tell his good-girl love interest that he had planned all along to leave her for The Vamp, when in fact he knew that he was going to end up dead, so she didn't have to live the rest of her life in his shadow.
  • Ted: Ted, a magically animated sentient teddy bear, is willing to abandon his lifelong friendship with John, the boy (now man) who wished him to life, because he knows that he is holding back John's emotional development, which led to John's break-up. John himself wants this for his ex-girlfriend, after he fully accepts responsibility for the behaviour that led to their break-up.
  • In Cyrus, the title character is jealous of his mother's new boyfriend, so he does everything he can to drive him away. He succeeds, but at the cost of making his mom miserable - so he apologizes to the now ex-boyfriend and begs him to get back together with his mom.
  • It was revealed before the film's release that in Thor: The Dark World, Sif would make a large sacrifice for Thor, out of love for him. This turned out to be helping him save Jane and free Loki. She was branded a traitor for her actions, but they helped save Asgard and the rest of the Nine Realms.
    Jaimie Alexander: She does sacrifice quite a bit for Thor, because she is so very much in love with him, so you do get to see that... She cares about him. They grew up together, you know?
  • R.I.P.D.: In the end, Nick decides to let Julia go so that she can live her life.
  • In The Circus, the Tramp convinces Merna to marry Rex so she can escape the authority of her abusive father.
  • In the movie Away From Her, Grant's wife Fiona is placed in a residential facility after developing Alzheimer's. While there, she forgets who Grant is and develops a relationship with another man. Grant is devastated at first, but when the other man is discharged and Fiona begins to pine away for him and deteriorate, he attempts to arrange for the man to return and see Fiona again.
  • Platonic version in X-Men: First ClassCharles sends Mystique off with Erik at the end, knowing it's what she really wants. Unfortunately, he regrets this decision.
  • In Marianne, Andre comes home after having been blinded in World War I, and having spent four years in a German POW camp, to find that his intended Marianne has fallen in love with an American serviceman. He steps aside, joining the priesthood.
  • In The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, Gale is the first to volunteer for the Victor rescue mission, knowing that rescuing Peeta is the thing Katniss wants most.
  • Enchanted has Prince Edward. When he sees his former fiancée get True Love's Kiss from another man, his only response is a giant grin at how happy they are together. And he gets a Second Love by the end of the night.
  • Geek Charming: Although Dylan shows signs of liking Josh, she does play The Matchmaker for him and Amy. Caitlin also feels this way about Josh after watching his movie.
  • In A Girl Named Sooner, Mam Hawes ultimately allows Sooner to go with the McHenrys, and is shown to be privately sad about it.
  • In The Book of Masters (2009), Yangul doesn't arrive at this trope right away: at first he attempts to Murder the Hypotenuse, stopping when his beloved Katya pleads with him, then he considers Scarpia Ultimatum (twice), and when Katya actually agrees to it, he states that she doesn't love him and orders her and her intended to leave before he might change his mind again. He never gets a chance to.
  • In Hail the Conquering Hero, Woodrow has been turned down for the Marines because of his hay fever, and being ashamed of this (for a number of reasons), writes letters to his mother, where he lies and says he's in combat. He also lies to his girlfriend Libby, writing her that he's found another girl, and she should feel free to move on. When he comes back home, he's upset about having to keep up the pretense of being a war hero, but he's overjoyed when he finds out Libby is engaged to another man, because it means she'll never know Woodrow's a fraud. Subverted in that Libby doesn't take the fact Woodrow's happy about her engagement very well, because she still loves Woodrow.
  • A variant occurs in The Adjustment Bureau where David learns if Elise stays with him she won't become a world famous dancer and choreographer, causing her to leave her for good. It turns out this was bollocks said by Thompson to manipulate them into following "the plan" and, after a prolonged chase by The Bureau they manage to get together in the end.
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