Epidemic of Passable Movies

For every great movie that’s out there, a movie comes along that is downright terrible. However, the creator of a new video essay thinks that it’s far worse when a movie doesn’t fall into either category, but is merely a passable, mediocre piece of work.

The YouTube channel Nerdwriter has put together a video breaking down what he calls an “epidemic of passable movies.” In the essay, he points out some of the big problems in movies that many deem as just being okay, and most of his argument comes down to how movies portray their characters and how they interact with the world around them.

Here’s “The Epidemic of Passable Movies” from Nerdwriter:

Here’s the crux of Nerdwriter’s argument that he’s noticed more abundantly in recent mediocre movies:

When passable movies observe human experience, they observe it not through the lens of real life, but through the lens of other movies. There is this huge library, this huge vocabulary of actions built up over the years that people you know don’t really do, but which happens so often in TV and movies that they’re familiar enough to an audience that they become, well, passable for human motivations.

While I do think that this is the case with some movies, I think it’s a little too broad of a generalization for some movies. The appeal of certain characters in some movies, especially comedies, comes from the fact that they don’t respond in a way that lines up with reality all the time. They have outlandish behavior that a normal person wouldn’t tolerate or get away with things no other real person would ever let them get away with.

Of course, that’s where the idea of a movie being “tonally focused” comes into play and those kind of outrageous moments are allowed because they fit within the confines of the movie. But I still think that there are occasions when the behavior of characters in a movie doesn’t always have to line up with how people behave in real life. It doesn’t have to actually be genuine, it just has to seem genuine within the context of the movie.

What do you think about this observation?

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