For those who like to form a complete picture about a person based on their movie tastes, here’s some more data points.
1) Under usual circumstances, I’m quite okay with sad movies and perhaps even prefer them. Some favorite movies that I don’t want to watch right now: Farewell My Concubine, Bridge to Terebithia, Like Water For Chocolate, Tuck Everlasting, Donnie Darko, Amadeus.
2) My violence tolerance has dropped way down over the years. This means that I have a few films which I liked many years ago, and still think are great movies, but I don’t know if I can ever watch them again. Among these are such surprising choices as Seven, Gladiator, The Usual Suspects, and Reservoir Dogs. Maybe in time my preferences will change again. But violence in familiar movies is a lot easier to handle, so who knows.
3) The better the movie, the higher my tolerance for violence. If it’s a tightly written script with great characters, I’ll accept more violence in the movie. Nothing is worse than gratuitous, pointless gore. That said, I sometimes can tolerate violence and blood in very silly comedy, like Monty Python and Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Beavis & Butthead. I don’t LIKE it, but often the rest of the stuff is funny enough that I can ignore the discomfort.
4) Right now, I’m happy to have a list of movies where I can count on little to no violence, plus a happy ending so I don’t get anxious about the characters like I often do. I think I identify too strongly with movie protagonists, which is why movies upset me so easily. They always feel very real to me. Especially in a theatre, which is why I don’t often go out to movies. It’s just overwhelming.
5) It’s really just violence in movies which bothers me–specifically, violent motion. I can read any words I like and nothing fazes me. Books and stories are fine. Still photographs are usually okay. But if there’s violent motion, it triggers panic for me. Sudden noises make it doubly bad. Must be something in the lizard brain. That’s why looking at a corpse in a movie is a lot less troubling to me than seeing a gunman shooting at a running person, even if he misses.
6) Stress causes me to make weird posts at 3:18 AM. Hi.