Light as a fairy tale: What makes a feel-good film feel good?

“Feel-good films” are usually dismissed by film critics as being sentimental and without intellectual merit. But their popularity with audiences, who seek them out precisely because of their “feel-good” qualities, tells a more favorable story. Now, for the first time, this popular movie genre is examined scientifically. A new study from the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics investigates which feel-good films are considered by viewers to be prototypical and which factors constitute their feel-good effect.

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