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Genres of Films Topic

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Film Studies
Wordcount: 1484 words Published: 6th Jul 2017

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Film is an art. Just as the art itself, Film has a complex range of departments. Therefore, learning the classification of the film is definitely the first key for the learning of the film. The genre can also be called “type” or “kind”, which is used in the film culture. For example, film production, the popular consumption, the reception of films and etc (Langford, 2005). In the movie world, there are many different types of movies and there are many film classifications. There are a lot of controversies about genres of films, which can be categorized in many ways. For example, in the aspect of the content of the film, there are action, comedy, crime, horror and etc. And also the concept of the genre of films is vague, which means that there is no definite boundaries between two kinds of genres and boundaries of the genre of films are shifting. For example, there are action comedy, comedy horror, military comedy, and etc.

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The Back-Up Plan is a funny movie. In the beginning of the film, a desperate girl named Zoe wants nothing more than to meet the man who she loves and have a happy family with somebody. And the desire to have a family is more and more strong. Having dated for several years without any result, Zoe decides to solve the problem herself and fulfill her wishes by getting inseminated artificially. On that very day, on which she gets inseminated, along comes the man of her dreams, Stan. Stan is a cheese selling farmer. He’s a handsome young man and he is very charming. The two nice persons fall in love with each other quickly. After learning that Zoe is pregnant, Stan is a little hesitated and amazing. But after some serious considering, he is still willing to help her raise this kid who isn’t his actually. They live together for nine months and finally have a baby of their own.

The genre of The Back-Up Plan.

According to the current classification of the most mainstream, there are adventure, animation, comedy, horror, crime, documentary, drama, musical, romance and etc. For example, adventure is a type of movie hard to explain literally, such as a personal biography or a legend. And some movie is a description of an event, which also belongs to the genre of adventure. Crime can be regarded as a big genre in American movies, which is a popular genre, such as the Godfather series, Pulp Fiction and so on.

In these genres, The Back-Up Plan belongs to comedy. Comedy is generally exaggerated and it always has clever structure, witty lines and comic character. In The Back-Up Plan, during the first meet of Zoe and Stan, their lines are very funny. And the leading actress herself is an interesting woman. In comedy, the beautiful idea of life will always be affirmed. In The Back-Up Plan, Zoe’s desire for a family or a baby is fulfilled at last. Conflicts in comedy tend to be solved more lively and a perfect circle will be achieved. And also comedy films often reveal our social values and some preoccupations in our daily life (Lopez, 2000). When Stan knows that Zoe has a baby, Stan is confused and they have some quarrels. But after his considering, his love for her is more firm. Later, Zoe is not sure about Stan’s love and she is afraid of his leaving. However, through a wedding of her mother, she goes back to Stan. These problems are solved much easier, which is the characteristic of comedy. Finally, like other comedies, Stan and Zoe have a perfect circle.

Referring to the dimensions of genre, there are Iconography, Industry practice, Audience expectation, Ideology and myth. In the aspect of iconography, the setting of the film is people’s daily life. The character of the film is a woman left on the shelf, who is funny and brave. And then the theme of it is romantic love. Concerning the industry practice, the location of audience of The Back-Up Plan can be regarded as these older women left and it is a typical Hollywood film. The third dimension of genre of films is audience expectation. In the film, the life of Zoe sometimes seems a mess while it makes the audience laugh. Whether the audience is an old woman left or not, he or she will be interested in the strange life order of Zoe. Then the last dimension is genre and myth. From the aspect of theory and other three dimensions, the genre of The Back-Up Plan is romantic comedy.

Comedy can be roughly divided into two types: the romantic comedy and satirical comedy. Satirical comedies often take current events as the theme of the film, which always concern the social and political problems by the author’s humor writing style. The back-Up Plan is funny and a bit touching. To say in this regard, The Back-Up Plan is a romantic comedy. Romantic comedy often uses the topics like love stories. The plot forward of the story is often organized by some misunderstanding and clarifying (King, 2002). By the conflicts between Stan and Zoe and their clarifying, The Back-Up Plan tells people that it is very important to trust your partner who loves you and also you love and to accept the things he or she does. It is a feel good movie, which lets the women of the world believe that there are still some good men out there. And the other characteristic of the film is that the crazy and tough time that women experience during a pregnancy is presented. These features all prove that The Back-Up Plan is a romantic comedy.

Analysis on Journey to the Center of the Earth.

Introduction of Journey to the Center of the Earth.

Trevor is a geologist, whose brother, Max believed that the center of the Earth could be reached through the volcanic tubes and disappeared on a mysterious expedition. One day, Trevor is inspired by a password in a previous letter. Accompanied by his nephew, Trevor conducts an expedition to travel through the center of the earth. Before the process, they meet Hannah, who they find living in Max’s former research headquarters near the volcano he was investigating. They drop down from a crater of Iceland. Then in the expedition, they fall very frequently, and very far. However, no matter how frequently or how far they fall, they will land without injury. They always remain remarkably optimistic. They believe that there must be a way out of there. Overcoming all kinds of difficulties, like water shortage, lost, storm, they succeed to come back to the ground from a volcano of the westbound island.

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The genre of Journey to the Center of the Earth.

The genre of Journey to the Center of the Earth is an adventure film. In adventure films, the characters always have some new experiences, which are often exciting or dangerous (Taves, 1993). The themes of adventure films include travels, conquests, expeditions, dangerous situations that the main characters encounter, some actual historical figures, and etc.

The setting of Journey to the Center of the Earth is an adventure fanatic. In a rather short time, people have conquered the source of the Nile, the Sahara, Africa, North and South poles and the untouched wilderness on the earth becomes less and less. On the other hand, science and technology, especially archeology and geology have got an unprecedented development. The setting decides that the genre of the film is adventure. The character in the film, Trevor is a curious and clever man, which predicts that he will try his best to find out the cause of his brother’s death. And because of his curiosity and wisdom, the journey must be a successful one. And then the audience location can be regarded as these who like risking and expediting. The theme of the film is to prove a new theory about the earth. During the expedition, they encounter many adventures, including prehistoric animals and natural hazards. The plot of the film has many ups and downs. The romantic and science imagination takes the audience into a fantasy world beyond space and time.

Also it can be seen that adventure films are similar to action films, which shows that the boundary between two genres is shifting and become vague (Brode, 2003). Journey to the Center of the Earth is designed to be active and the characters have energetic experience, which makes the film is similar to action films.


Today the genre of films is more and more complex and the boundary between two genres is more and more vague. The full understanding of the genre of films helps people understand and comprehend these film works better and more objectively. At first, the article makes a brief introduction about the genre of films. And then the article focuses on comedy films and adventure films by analyzing the two films, the Back-Up Plan and Journey to the Center of the Earth, which will result in a deeper understanding of comedy films and adventure films.


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