Genre Changes All

What is bad to you if it weren’t for the genre of movie itself? Horror, Comedy, Action, Suspense, Musical. Is there kind of movie that gets a pass from you because you love it? Where otherwise you’d feed it to the wolves?

Western and historical things are a lot of work for me, if they don’t have indoor plumbing I’m just not comfortable in the world.


I’m a ‘hates musicals’ person, to the extent that I’m not even keen on musical skits in non-musical films or programmes.

I keep my peace on this matter though because ‘I H8 musicals’ types always come across as determined pissers-on-the-chips-of-others, and that isn’t my ‘vibe’.


Musicals embody a unique contradiction. They’re so cheerful and so calculated. How they burst into song on a dime bothered me. It seemed so fake and contrived. Yet that’s the point, the invention. Creating a routine out of thin air having it grow and prosper simply to disappear back into nothingness and the action to resume. It is a discipline appealing to some and appalling to others. Not unlike the Dead Teenager slashers of the 80s. Watching couples make out, be stalked, and then killed is as concocted and splits audiences if not as much.

I try to take each genre in the spirit intended. I don’t go into a (e.g.) horror movie thinking “ghosts are dumb, prove me wrong” so I find I like them a lot more than other people.

Exactly! People who complain about the “realism” of movies are missing the point. Movies (and novels and plays and all art) are inherently contrived.

The Oscar-winning composer David Raksin related this story of sitting in the commissary when a woman comes up to him all giddy over Lifeboat. “And there isn’t going to be a score, because where would the music come from?” And said, “Go ask Hitch where the camera comes from.”

All art is artifice. And this call for “realism”, which really gained ground in the '60s, just results in drab, ugly stories about drag, ugly people—which are no less contrived than any Technicolor musical.


Wonderful story and a great example of cinema in its essence.

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I think ghosts are dumb but I’ve seen some superb ghost movies. Not so much with werewolves. I’ve never been able to get into any story about them. I’m open to surprise, but I must admit it’s instilled a bias in me where I’ll preemptively feed anything advertised to be about werewolves to the wolves.

Genres I’m always ready to jump on are cosmic horror (strangely rare, even in Lovecraft adaptations) and gratuitously pretentious art house. I’ll always party with Aronofsky, Noé, von Trier even though they’d probably make terrible guests.

Edit: Let’s not forget Greenaway, my favorite of them all! He’d probably make a very charming guest.


I’m not keen on romantic comedies at all, but I’m willing to give a free pass to You’ve Got Mail.

As for genres I unconditionally love? I’m all about Westerns, heist/caper movies, and zombie flicks.

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I grew up watching the musicals of the 50s and 60s. I love them. Every genre of entertainment has some kind of willing suspension of disbelief. For musicals, you have to accept that people are going to randomly start singing and/or dancing and everyone knows what to do. In a musical, the singing and dancing is an expression of emotion. You can argue whether or not it’s successful in its execution, but the singing and dancing is how moments are conveyed.

For example, in one of my favorite musicals, Flower Drum Song, a character who realizes that the man she loves is in love with another woman and just won’t ever be interested in her as more than a friend walks into her studio (she makes dresses) and sings “Love, Look Away” and then it morphs into a dance sequence (admittedly, a bizarre one) which is a fantasy of trying to find the man she can love, but even in her fantasy, in the end, she’s left alone. It’s a strangely sad note in a musical that’s mostly quite upbeat.

Older musicals get a pass from me. I’ll watch them and mostly enjoy them. However, a lot of the modern musicals are suffering from this idea that they have to be realistic. I’m sorry, but a musical is NOT realistic. It can’t be. So, in the words of Mabel from The Pirate Movie, “I want a happy ending!” I do NOT want to watch a musical that ends with people miserable. Even the musical Les Miserables (literally, the miserable ones) ends with a note of hope for the future. So there.

I’m much more lenient with fantasy and scifi than I am with other genres (this happens a LOT with books, moreso than movies), but there are even scifi flicks that are too much for me. The Core for example went way beyond what I could accept. Apparently, they took a page from King Dinosaur and setting off a nuke solves all their problems.

I like You’ve Got Mail too, but have you seen the original movie it’s based on? It’s called * The Shop Around the Corner*. Stars Jimmy Stewart.


Indeed I have! Enjoyed it, too. I love watching Jimmy Stewart movies. You Can’t Take It with You is a personal favorite.

I should perhaps modify my original statement: I don’t care for modern romantic comedies.


I will tentatively suggest “The Wolf of Snow Hollow”. It might be a good werewolf-movie-for-people-who-don’t-like-werewolf-movies.

Very hard to do. Cosmic horror relies heavily on what it implies, and then when it has to make good, you’re talking serious effects.

“Realism” is a trap.

Modern RomComs have been Ephronized. And it’s not her fault—she was quite successful with Sleepless In Seattle and When Harry Met Sally—and somehow RomComs went from general crowd-pleasers to Chick Flicks. And increasingly neurotic chick flicks.

Hollywood doesn’t really “get” light romance stories any more.


True. So much of Lovecraft resolved with, “I saw a shape with too many sides and then I went mad and passed out.”


Explain a horror story badl—no, wait, that’s pretty spot on.

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I’m pretty much with you on this, though “hate” might be a little strong for me. I appreciate how much talent and work goes into musicals, but they’re not for me. Rocky Horror is grandfathered in, but that’s about it, and even about half of that grates on me. Musical skits can sometimes be okay.

Riffed musicals are apparently okay! I was hesitant about RiffTrax’s The Apple, but it turned out to be great! If they find more like that I think I’ll be on board. I’d love to see MST take one on.

I also tend to keep quiet about this, for the same reason as you, until I’m cornered in a fight-or-flight situation. :wink: