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Related: kitsch - sentimentalism - drama - melody

unidentified painting illustrating 'lightweight' theatre

At the Theater (The Melodrama) (c. 1860-64) - Honoré Daumier

Casablanca (1942) - Michael Curtiz [Amazon.com]


A melodrama, in the broadest sense, is a serious drama that can be distinguished from tragedy by the fact that it is open to having a happy ending. In practice, it is a rather pejorative term. In melodrama there is constructed a world of heightened emotion, stock characters and a hero who rights the disturbance to the balance of good and evil in a moral universe. The term literally means "music drama", with music was used to increase the emotional response or to suggest characters. There is a neat structure or formula to melodrama: A villain poses a threat, the hero escapes the threat (or rescues the heroine) and there is a happy ending. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melodrama [Nov 2004]

A drama, such as a play, film, or television program, characterized by exaggerated emotions, stereotypical characters, and interpersonal conflicts. --AHD [Feb 2005]

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