Watching meaningful films – those that we find moving and poignant – can make us feel more prepared to deal with life’s challenges and want to be a better person, a new study found.
The findings point to one reason why people may choose to see movies that make them sad as well as happy and that may explore difficult subjects that aren’t always uplifting.
Researchers found that when people recalled watching meaningful films like The Shawshank Redemption and Up, they reported a variety of positive reactions, such as being better able to accept the human condition and make sense of problems in life.
Those positive experiences were less likely to be reported when people thought about watching Hollywood fare like The Big Lebowski or Catch Me if You Can.
The researchers created two lists of 20 Hollywood films, one a list of meaningful films and one a list of less meaningful films, all made after 1985 and with high viewer ratings.
The research was published online recently in the journal Mass Communication and Society.
Release date: 10 May 2021
Source: Ohio State University