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Jason Bortz

A Film Without Darkness

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So let's say you've been asked:

"I'd love to watch a story without darkness...can you think of any ideas how such a story would go?"

It took me a while to figure out what they meant by that.

"Well, you know...like, darkness. Something provoking sad feelings. Something making you uncomfortable in a negative way emotionally."

I tried to think of any film that doesn't do this, suddenly realizing there are quite a few of them in the comedy genre...

"Can it be more of a drama, though? That the whole family could watch? I mean, it could have dramatic elements, but..."

Ok. Drama, without darkness. Darkness isn't necessarily synonymous with obstacle, I remind myself. Alright, it's forming up. So, like, Hook?

"Yeah, that works! Except it's been done."

Ok.

So, let me ask you:

What would YOU consider a "non-dark" film that you found compelling and enjoyable?

Oh, and hey there. Long time no see. :)

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Sheesh, I can't think of anything that doesn't have *some* of what this person would probably call "darkness."

The Black Stallion?

My Neighbor Totoro?

Glad you're back, Jason. Boy do I have the thread for you.

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Funny. The Black Stallion was Jenn's first thought.

There's also the remake of Journey to the Center of the Earth...

*cough*

Hmmm...thread...I'll check...

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A Simple Plan.

Oh, wait, I didn't see the "without".

How about Millions?

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Millions had the Nasty People in it. And a dead mommy. :|

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The closest movie (drama) I can think of, but one that is not completely devoid of darkness, is John Sayle's The Secret of Roan Inish, which we watched a few weeks ago. It's got kids... It's got seals (that don't get clubbed)... It's got terrific, story-telling Grandparents (some of those stories might be crossing the line into darkness, in a Grimm's fairy tale kinda way)... but, the story (kinda like Bambi) does take place after Mom has died, and that storyline does linger a bit (the death is not shown, but I believe the story begins at her funeral).

Other than that... have you checked out Tideland?

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ok, looking back at my Netflix viewing records I would say:

Strictly Ballroom

The Dish

My Father's Glory

My Mother's Castle

A Good Year

all fit the criteria for no darkness. Not all of these are good films--A Good Year certainly was not properly bottled--but on the whole were engaging, enjoyable amusing films. Le Chateau de ma Mere is a wonderful story, but darkness intrudes in the final 30 seconds (which you can skip with a well placed bathroom break).

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My wife and I watched The Dish a few weeks ago, and I think it qualifies.

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