The enduring fascination of marriage

An enterprising author/nerd went through Netflix's exhaustive survey of its customers' fine-grained movie genre preferences, which might be called the "Movie Genome Project," and established that the clear winner in moviegoers' collective hearts is stories about marriage.  If you count parenthood, reunited lovers, and couples, the old boy-meets-girl story accounts for four of the top six viewer preferences.  As a friend of mine once put it, "I've had the ass ever since I figured out I was a fall guy for DNA."

After marriage, royalty is an enduring preoccupation.  Further research revealed that the hands-down favorite chronological context is the 1980s, followed in descending order by earlier decades.  (Movies set in 1990 forward might as well not exist.)  The favorite geographical setting, by a large margin, is Europe.

Wondering what ever happened to murder mysteries, war dramas, and spy thrillers?  The author reconstructed 90,000+ outrageously specific and obscure genres identified by Netflix in its attempt to capture the sort of movies their customers prefer.  Experimentation with a genre-yielding algorithm yielded gems like "Fight-the-System Political Love Triangle Mysteries."  It reminds me of a friend who described "The Shawshank Redemption" as the "feel-good prison movie of the year."  A favorite of my husband's and mine always has been "Only One Man," a/k/a "They Jacked with the Wrong Guy."


Grim said...

It would be a mark of enduring good sense if movies about horses were ranked more prominently.

Grim said...

Also: It's nice that the most popular actor is of Raymond Burr's vintage, but how surprising that it's Raymond Burr.

Ymar Sakar said...

They really do need a genome to market it. Even with the FB and Myspace mirror profile feeds, that doesn't say anything if the movies aren't correctly categorized.

The Japanese solution is to put 90% of their popular media for X demographic and stick romance into it.

Surprisingly, it works.