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Why I don’t care about movie genres

I try to base my movie choices on more than categories.

I love role playing games. I really like the ones with a strong story and I tend to gravitate to ones with a good story. I also love Britpop. The Smiths (I know they are considered more of an influence than actually a part of the scene), Blur, and Pulp are some of my favorite bands. I also love Mexican and Korean food. It is probably because I am part Korean and I live on the border. (Fun fact: I hate the desserts of both.)

However, I do not have a favorite movie genre. Sure, I watch a lot of horror and I am not the biggest fan of romantic comedies, but I avoid the Conjuring movies and I can never get enough of Love Actually. I know it is an incredibly pretentious answer (I accepted a long time ago what kind of movie fan I am), but when someone asks me what kind of movies I like, I always say, “good ones.”

Yes, I know that is a crappy answer, but here’s the thing. I try to base my movie choices on more than categories. When you use blanket terms like “action movies” or “dramedies” you are potentially missing out. How many times have you heard someone say they do not like superhero movies, but then they see something from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and they tell you how much they enjoyed it?

By not eliminating movies based on genre, I am able to judge them on the actors and crew that worked on the film. I love Jack Nicholson and think he is one of the greatest actors of all time. In 1997 he starred in the romantic drama As Good as it Gets. Do I go and watch one of my favorite actors or do I not watch the movie simply because it is not my thing?

I watched the trailers and ended up checking it out. It is a great movie worthy of the awards it has received. This is far from the only time this has happened. Love Actually is the romantic comedy to end all romantic comedies. It is in my top five favorite movies. I watched Schindler’s List because of Steven Spielberg and will not watch Glass because I do not like its director. It is all very simple to me. I base what movies I watch on how interesting it looks and previous experience.

Of course, I prefer certain types of movies over others. I would rather watch a cheesy horror movie than a high powered action movie. But I also am not a big fan of Jim Jarmusch, so The Dead Don’t Die only mildly interests me. Meanwhile, Hobbes & Shaw is one of my most anticipated movies of the year simply because it looks fun. As I get older and I see more movies I become less concerned with genre and more concerned with the likelihood I will be entertained.

This method is far from perfect. I would say I see a few good movies, a few bad movies, and the vast majority are perfectly acceptable. My ratio is no different than any other person who watches movies regularly. But I am willing to guess I see a wider variety. Maybe I have not seen The Curse of La Llorona or Detective Pikachu, but I really did not want to either. I may have ended up liking them if I did watch them, but if and when I do see them it will be because I want to not because I feel obliged to.

People love to categorize things for good reason. Making decisions can be easier, finding things you like is simpler, and a lot of time can be saved. Sometimes though it is better to take a little extra time while being less picky. There are so many good movies out there you never know where you are going to find them. In these cases, its best to not care too much deciding what to watch.

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