Genres You Think You're Too Cool For
by: Hillary Sussman
One thing I learned early on in life is that EVERYONE'S a critic. Every Christmas, my family and I go to the movies, yes we’re Jewish thank you for asking. No matter how much we seem to enjoy a film when the lights are down, we always find something to complain about by the time we get to the Chinese restaurant. Did I mention we’re Jewish? There’s something greater than kvetching that our complaints symbolize: human instinct is to critique. In our short time on Earth, we like to believe that we’ve gained so much experience and wisdom in our chosen areas of interest that we are now experts in our fields. That field, for many, is movies. People have been going to the cinema for seemingly their ENTIRE lives. Seriously, people bring babies to the movies now. (I’m talking to the woman who brought her toddler to see It and sat behind me. Girl. Get it together). Therefore, most people think they know the movie biz. Most people, as so often proven, are idiots. Here are some of the genres movie “experts” turn their noses up at and why they are oh SO very wrong.
The "Movie Musical" genre includes films in which songs are sung by the characters and interwoven into the narrative, sometimes accompanied by dancing. It was a natural development of the stage musical after the emergence of sound film technology, so it characteristically contains elements of theater. The reason some folks like to cast this genre aside is because of the idealistic quality of these films. No, they are not going to be realistic, people are breaking out into random song and dance and the actors are looking directly into the camera. But Movie Musicals aren’t only smiles and kick-lines. In the 21st century alone, darker movie musicals like Moulin Rouge!, Chicago, Dreamgirls, The Phantom of the Opera, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Les Miserables, and Into The Woods all won the Golden Globe for Best Picture. And if you’re still hesitant, dead drop into the splits and look at the Must-Sees below.
Must-Sees: Singing in the Rain, The Wizard of Oz, Once, Mary Poppins, An American in Paris, West Side Story, The Nightmare Before Christmas
The "Family Film" genre includes movies with children or that relate to them in the context of home and family. I feel annoyed defending this category because I bet most of your favorite movies today are from your childhood. And don’t start spewing word vomit about how “back in your day” kids movies were better because Inside Out was one of the best films of 2015. From 20 years ago to the present, the following sentiment rings true: “Some movies are good and some are bad.” Cinematic quality be damned, (though some are cinematographically beautiful regardless of genre), we love kids movies because they remind us of a simpler time. Before taxes, student loans, car insurance, or Donald Trump’s Cheeto face, there was Disney, Pixar, and Studio Ghibli.
Must-Sees: E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Inside Out, Toy Story (1-3), Pinocchio, Spirited Away, The Princess Bride, The Sandlot, Now & Then, Homeward Bound
Romance a.k.a Chick Flicks
The "Romance Film" genre focuses on passion, emotion, and the affectionate romantic involvement of the main characters and the journey that their genuinely strong, true love takes them on. The romantic love story or the search for love is the main plot focus. They often explore the essential themes of love at first sight, unrequited love, obsessive love, sentimental love, spiritual love, forbidden love/romance, platonic love, tragic love, etc. The reason many men claim they don’t like romance movies is because we live in a patriarchal society where men are mocked or called “a girl” for showing vulnerability or emotion. Or they just straight up think they’re too mushy. Either way, the following romance movies will change all that.
Must-Sees: Casablanca, Gone With The Wind, Annie Hall, Say Anything…, The Spectacular Now, Knocked Up, Obvious Child, Amélie, The Graduate, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Horror is a film genre seeking to elicit a negative emotional reaction from viewers by playing on the audience's primal fears. Horror films often deal with viewers' nightmares, fears, revulsions and terror of the unknown. Plots within the horror genre often involve the intrusion of an evil force, event, or personage, commonly of supernatural origin, into the everyday world. That being said, people who hate horror movies are normally the same people who are afraid of rollercoasters. I am not speaking to those people. If you don’t watch horror movies because they keep you awake at night paralyzed with fear, then that’s fine. Do what you must. But to those chumps who look down their nose and claim the horror genre is just gore, guts, and blood for the sake of shock value, bite your tongue and educate yourself.
Must-Sees: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Pan’s Labyrinth, The Descent, Psycho, Let the Right One In, Evil Dead, Halloween, The Babadook, It Follows, The Silence of the Lambs, House of the Devil, The Shining