Titles such as “The Notebook” and “Titanic” have to be some of the saddest things we’ve ever witnessed as movie-watchers. Real life doesn’t seem to compare, in both sadness and happiness. So why is it that we love to watch things that make us incredibly sad?
If you didn’t tear up during ”The Notebook,” you probably don’t have a heart, but those of us who tear up also rant and rave about how much we love the film DESPITE the fact that it makes us sad. This seems to be a double standard. Why do we love the things that make us shed tears? Is this an abusive relationship between the movie industry and viewers? No matter how many times they make us cry, we keep coming back? A recent study by an Ohio State University professor suggests differently.
The study showed 361 college students the film “Atonement,” a tragic story about lovers torn apart in times of war, and asked them to rate their own happiness before, during and after the film. They were also asked to write down what they were feeling specifically, so that researchers could examine their thoughts.
The research found that those who thought about their own families and relationships were happier after the movie than before it. Even though the film was sad, it made them think about how lucky they are to have good relationships with the people around them.
“People seem to use tragedies as a way to reflect on the important relationships in their own life, to count their blessings,” said professor Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick, the woman in charge of the study.
Human emotion is a deep and complex thing. It’s hard to understand completely and can often be hard to turn off. The deep emotions we feel when we watch a sad movie transfer right over to us being thankful for the great relationships we have with the important people in our lives.
So the next time someone suggests a romantic drama, instead of immediately dismissing it for a college-humor film, give it a shot. You just might be surprised that the film leaves you with a feeling you didn’t expect.