Why I rarely enjoy bio-flicks


“I watched Selena last night and cried at the end. Actually… I started crying at the beginning of the movie because I knew what was going to happen.”

Time for a theatrical lesson. Stories that start with bliss and end in dismay are called tragedies. Stories that start in struggle and end with resolution are called comedies. I know that in modern culture “comedy” usually means “funny,” but in the purest sense of Shakespearian tradition – comedy means starts bad ends good. All that’s required to technically qualify for a comedic designation is a happy ending. Due to the nature of biographical and historical films (not to mention historically based fictional movies ehem… Titanic), these stories rarely end well. The majority of biopics would fall into the category of tragedy.

Example: Selena. She dies at the end – killed by an obsessed fan. By definition, Selena is a tragedy.

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