I'm known as a somewhat heartless person in my group of friends. I don't cry in public, and watching a movie about a dog finding its way back home doesn't warm my heart or make me feel all tingly inside, as much as I love dogs and would give my life for them. But my kryptonite is tragedies. I'll cry like a baby and I'll feel things so deeply that if you didn't know me, you'd think I'm an emotional mess like that all the time. Judging by the title, and this tiny introductory paragraph you just read, I believe you know where I'm going with this.
If I have to tell someone what my favourite movie genre is, simply saying "I like tragedies" doesn't narrow it down enough. A better way to describe it is "I love romantic movies, but only ones that have one or both love interests die by the last third of the movie, causing the most heartbreak a viewer can get because they've had such high hopes for them ending up together". But that's too long, so "I like tragedies" is simply better.
But what's so appealing about them you ask? I honestly don't know. Maybe it's my inner cynicism telling me that happy endings don't exist and tragic ends are "realistic". I don't think that we're all "doomed" and "bound to loneliness", but I also don't believe we are all meant to have a prince fall in love with us and live happily ever after. Take it with movies that include a happy-go-lucky small town girl who moves to the big city for the first time and is hired doing the job she always wanted and falls in love with a rich, sweet billionaire guy after one look. That's just stupid. If such a thing happened to you, then well done, but the rest of us won't be swept off our feet covered in diamonds and gold.
Take The Notebook, A Walk To Remember, Atonement, Titanic, One Day, or Marriage Story as examples. You get epic love affairs, but you also see the "realness" of these characters' lives. (Spoiler alert if you haven't seen these movies)
Allie and Noah got separated, but ended up back together and finally died in each other's arms. This is still realistic. Things like this exist, but the fights and the portrayal of their love story is what makes this movie a good one to base relationships on. Or how about Landon and Jamie? She died of cancer, but the effect she had on him is still palpable enough. Or in One Day, when Emma gets hit by a bus when she and Dexter FINALLY get together after years. Accidents like that happen in real life and people lose their loved ones every day. But these bittersweet endings (or the rocky roads these characters have together) are what make the movies realistic. They are what everyone loves or at least hates to admit that they love.
Yes, I like the "feel good about myself" movie every now and then, but they're never realistic. They give you false expectations and then you get hurt in the future because of those expectations. Tragic movies are realistic movies that show you how life is, with all the good and bad wrapped up into one movie.
Love stories are not musicals, but they are still beautiful. They still have their amazing characteristics. But you can only find these characteristics in movies like Blue Valentine or Love, Rosie. That way, not only do you see the bad things, but you get to appreciate the good things too.