A question of Genre.



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  • A question of Genre.

    What, exactly, is a "feel good" movie? Is it just a movie that defies categorization in any other genre? The only recent(?) movie I can think of that fits into this category is Forrest Gump - any other movies that can be classed as "feel good" seem to fit into Comedy, Romantic Comedy, Romance, or Family genres. Any comments?


  • #2
    Almost Famous makes me feel good every time I watch it, man.


    • #3
      Feel good is a genre?


      • #4
        Does the Feel good genre have any relation to the Porno genre?


        • #5
          When Anne Heche copped it, the remake of Psycho became a feel-good movie...

          STAND BY ME (despite dark undertones) is a feel good.

          The BAD NEWS BEARS films are feel good.


          • #6
            Feelin' groovey (at the movies)

            I like to feel good. I don't like to feel bad. I think we all know for ourselves when a film crosses the line between what makes us comfortable and what makes us feel frightened, depressed, confused, angry (in a bad way) or debased. These days, the only scripts I have to market are "feel good" films. I think if we look back to a more innocent era (say 50 or 60 years ago), we can see that films like "The Apartment", "My Fair Lady", "Funny Girl", numerous Disney films, "The African Queen", "It's A Wonderful Life", anything with Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, and on and on, all worked their magic by playing upon the best, rather than the worst, of human nature. Modern films, especially horror and film noir, have lost this knack for charming audiences with warm fuzzies that don't feel stilted or fake. Personally many modern films seem calculated to terrify or enrage, often in a manipulative way with careless disregard for the well-being of the audience. So, what is a feel-good film? They're still around, but perhaps audiences and film-makers are less interested than they once were in the simple truths of wholesome fun, ending on a high note, or love that transcends mere sexuality. For me, these are the only films that matter.


            • #7
              Re: Feelin' groovey (at the movies)

              Old-time noir and horror was never meant to give people warm-fuzzies - but, if you look closely, you'll find numerous ones on the lists of today's writers' favorite films.

              Where would we be without Psycho, Rear Window, or The Matlese Falcon?

              A movie can be a feel-gooder without having an ultra-happy ending...I felt good after watching Boogie Nights (Yes, yes, I know - I'm messed up)...I felt good after watching American Beauty (Summarizes life up in two hours).

              When I write, I try to acheive an ending that's like the two mentioned above. Because, in life, it's not really about catching the bad guy, getting the girl, and "learning an important lesson about life and family". You take the good with the bad - that's the way your ending should be.

              Think of Almost Famous, mentioned above. The band's exploits, some not so positive, are about to be published for the world to see. One gets the feeling the band's not going to be around much longer...the good old days have died away, new - more superficial - groupies have begun the circle, and overall the music scene is dying. Yet the characters come together at the end.

              Same thing with Boogie Nights. A feel-good ending is really about people - not about everything turning out hunky-dory.

              Write about people sticking together through life - that's the happiest your ending could be.


              • #8
                Re: Feelin' groovey (at the movies)

                You're all going to confuse the lad. It's not about whether or not it makes YOU feel good. You might find the Excorcist very funny, that doesn't make it a comedy.

                A "feel good" movie in the generic sense is one that ends up, with a strong message of hope and joy, with few if any dark or deeply tragic undertones. Bad New Bears is a feel-good movie. Forrest Gump is on the line. American Beauty, Boogie Nights, and Almost Famous are right out of the running. If you advertised American Beauty as the "feel good movie of the year" you'd be fired.


                • #9
                  So in other words...

                  A feel-good movie is not a movie that cannot be categorized by genre. It's a movie of any genre that makes people leave the theater feeling warm and smiley.
                  Some dramas leave you with this kind of feeling. Some comedies do, too, but other comedies may be too nasty and misanthropic to be considered feel-good movies. A lot of romantic comedies are feel-good movies, in which love triumphs, the people who should be together are together, and everybody leaves feeling there is hope for happily-ever-after.

                  When we talk about genre, we're talking about certain rules and conventions of story-telling that appeal to a certain audience that enjoy a particular kind of vicarious experience and a particular kind of emotion. Action movies have certain character and plot conventions that appeal to people who like the vicarious experience of overcoming fears and physical limitations to triumph over their adversaries in exciting, heart-pounding ways.

                  Romantic comedies are designed to appeal to people who want the vicarious experience of falling in love, and they go through a complicted dance that starts with the people meeting cute, having a conflict, not being sure of each other, and finally, after a long tease of the audience, coming together. I'm now reading Billy Mernit's book that outlines seven steps that almost all romantic comedies use in this dance.

                  But feel-good movie doesn't mean anything technical. It's any movie that makes people feel good.


                  • #10
                    Re: So in other words...

                    "If you advertised American Beauty as the "feel good movie of the year" you'd be fired. "

                    :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol