Film Genres

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Monster in the House

Jaws, Alien, Fatal Attraction. Your character... trapped in a confined space... with a monster.

Golden Fleece

Star Wars, Finding Nemo, Ocean's Eleven. The classic quest story. It's not the destination so much as the journey and how it transforms the protagonist.

Out of the Bottle

These stories always start with a wish and a belief that once the wish is granted, all of the protagonist's dreams will come true. Of course they don't and through the course of the story the protagonist learns they had "it" in them all along.

Dude with a Problem

Die Hard, North by Northwest, Sleeping with the Enemy. The hero didn't ask to be thrown into this mess and it doesn't look like he or she can possibly escape but they always do, thanks to the lessons they learned while running for their lives.

Rites of Passage

The principal antagonist of these films is perhaps the most primal of all - change. Only working through the painful struggle of acceptance allows the protagonist closure of life's challenges. Problems such as adulthood, addiction, mid-life, separation, and death are the five sub genres included in Snyder's Rite of Passage model.

Buddy Love

Lethal Weapon, When Harry Met Sally, Romeo and Juliet. Two people who never knew they were incomplete until they met their other half. They usually start out disliking each other in the beginning because after all, how interesting could their story be if they start out knowing they need each other? ...or is that a fresh take on an age old genre for a new writer to attempt?


Chinatown, Bladerunner, Body Heat The mystery at the heart of these movies is just how thin the veil between civility and depravity is.

Fool Triumphant

Forest Gump, Legally Blonde, The Forty Year Old Virgin The odds are against this unlikely hero yet somehow he or she takes on the naysayers and triumphs


Office Space, M.A.S.H., 9 to 5. Nothing captures the loyalty of the characters in this genre of film quite like the lyrics to Foxy Brown's "Holy Matrimony" 'I mean damn, Me and you forever hand in hand, I'm married to The Firm boo, you got to understand, I'll die for em, gimme a chair and then I'll fry for em, And if I got ta take the stand, I'ma lie for em (lie for em)'


Batman, Superman, X-men Extraordinary individuals with extraordinary powers who can never take credit for their special abilities. Though they are misfits in our world they are still compelled to save it, oftentimes from our own shortsightedness.

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