How far do you agree with this statement? Use specific examples from your own experiences.
A genre is a certain type of film and they are each defined by certain codes and conventions. Within a genre there can be different categories these are known as sub-genres, for example, a psychological thriller. There are also occasions when in a film there may be a combination of more than one genre this is known as a hybrid. Genre is an excellent way of classifying a film. Audiences will know what to expect when they go too see a film as they will know if they normally like, thrillers, for example then they make the choice of seeing it. They also generally guarantee box office success this is also because of the audience knowing if they will like the film or not.
There are some problems with codes and conventions of genre and what makes up a certain genre. Sometimes certain films can be too predictable as they follow the codes and conventions too strictly. Usually in horror films, the main victim confronts the force of evil and generally survives. The audience is usually able to predict the ending although sometimes it can work. Although sometimes the audience likes to be able to predict what is going to happen in the movie, too much of this can be boring. Therefore it should have some sort of twist that the audience is not expecting. However not all films strictly follow the codes and conventions of a certain genre, they change to reflect the changes in society.
The film ‘Mean Girls’ is a typical romantic/teen comedy. It uses the general codes and conventions for example; it has the typical teen romance and also the competition between the girls for the one boy. It also has the people who are classified as the ‘freaks’ and those who are the ‘popular’ group, who are the cheerleaders; this is typical of a teen comedy. ‘Mean Girls’ is quite predictable and formulaic, in the way that it has all of the traditional teen flick characters and the traditional teen flick story lines. However I still enjoyed it and thought it was funny. This was because even though I could predict what was going to happen there was one twist in it, which I would not have been able to predict. The way in which it was written was also very funny, and this makes the audience forget about the expected plot of the film.
However not all films are predictable, for example, the film SWAT. Which is a hybrid – an action-adventure/thriller however it does not really follow the strict codes and conventions of an action- adventure/thriller. It begins with the breaking of the relationship between two best friends and has a major twist in the middle. However after the twist in the middle the plot becomes predictable after that. Although this is not too bad as generally the audience like to be able to predict a certain amount of the film. It is not formulaic and boring and has an element of surprise up until the middle. This has proved a successful method for this film as it has done very well in the box office. However for some other movies this method has not worked quite so well.
So it seems that most Hollywood films are generally quite formulaic, however they are not necessarily boring and uninteresting. This can be because of the good script. If it is a comedy genre, and the script is funny and makes the audience laugh then the film can be successful. Also if there is a twist somewhere in the plot of the film that the audience cannot predict then the film can be enjoyable, and not predictable and formulaic. Even though the two films that I have chosen are quite formulaic in the sense that they follow the codes and conventions quite a lot, they are both funny and still held my attention throughout the film.