If I have to choose between Brokeback Mountain and a nice rom-com with a feisty protagonist obviously bound for a happy ending, I would choose the former. There’s something about sad stories that leave me with a feeling of ambivalence, which later on turns out to be a good feeling. This may sound a bit masochist; but whenever feeling down, I would suggest watching an immensely sad or depressing movie; and here’s why:
Sad movies are a release. According to psychology, the stages of grief begins with denial. Sad movies though link you back to reality. Whether or not your grief story relates to the plot of the film, the connection with a character who suffers in a colorable way as you do is your very road to release. On certain scenes and parts of the movie, you will always have to cry.
It’s Not Always Hopeful. It’s been said that hope is a dangerous thing; well, it is, specially on those moments when your idea of hope is altered by your arduous and grueling bout with sadness. While I certainly agree that ‘hope’ is always worth clinging on to, it’s even better to give up on these things hoped for as you have to, or at least, as the hopes go.
The Characters Move On. Unless the protagonist successfully killed himself at the end of the film, all the rest of them move on. It’s amazing how these characters manage to wear a face of grit in the midst of a poignant situation. While they may not be facing life with that ebullience they used to prior to the sad part, they always choose to survive– and so should the rest of us if under the same circumstance.
You Draw the Ending. Most sad movies have open-ended plots which either the writer deliberately pursued, or as you choose to interpret them that way. And the best part in this is that you get to decide how the film ends as a microcosm of how you feel inside; or in reality’s perspective, you get to choose how you end your grief and find that path to moving forward. Sad movies couldn’t be more honest about the realities of life.