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TOEFL: Is it better to watch serious movies that are designed to make you think than just to watch?


kibz95 16 / 53 15  
Jan 22, 2015   #1
TOEFL Agree or Disagree: It's better to watch serious movies that are designed to make you think than to watch movies that are primarily designed to amuse or entertain.

Hello again. This is another TOEFL essay. Take your time reading this! The subject really caught me off guard... If you ever read my other essays, you'd know that I rarely express my own opinions, so this is a new style and I want to know how it is. Any comments are greatly appreciated! Thanks!

The feeling of leaving the theater with your family or friends while laughing at the amusing movie is overwhelmingly cozy and affectionate. The funny jocular movie creates a sense of home, a place where you want to just stay and doze off along with the people you love. Although the serious, profound movies with prominent directors and prestigious actors are top of the charts, I find the lesser, simple, amusing movies to stand out more.

Movies that are too serious are often quite complicated. As a movie fanatic myself, I dislike the feeling of confusion and befuddlement as I leave the stage. A movie is created for entertainment which is why I think I should be leaving the cinema happy and amused. To elaborate, these serious movies are quite difficult to watch because it constantly keeps me thinking and making mental notes to myself on exactly what is going on. Personally, I feel serious movies are like dull lectures trying to teach me a lesson in life but always deviates from the main idea so that I may solve the answer myself. The feeling of being toyed in my mind with circumlocution is not my cup of tea. In fact, some simple amusing movies made for children is actually better at portraying these lessons in life. Take Disney's Lion King for example, a musical movie about a young lion prince going back home. Although this movie may look childish on the outside, the details are very serious and dark. The lion prince's father was murdered and the prince have abandoned his responsibility as prince to lead his people after his father and have ran away, forgetting the tormenting memory of his father's death. The movie taught me not to ignore my responsibilities and to head the truth no matter how grotesque it is. I prefer to watch amusing movies because they depict lessons in life far better than the complicated serious movies.

In addition, trying to watch a serious movie with my family is quite difficult and uncomfortable. I, myself, often go to the cinema with my younger sister and we always regretted watching a serious movie together instead of watching a comical one. The mood is awkward because the movie confused the both of us so we spend the rest of the day trying to figure out exactly what the movie was about in our heads. Even if we tried to talk about it, with varying opinions and perspectives, we never got to reach a satisfactory conclusion. On the other hand, when we watch a jolly movie together, we leave the theater smiling ear to ear and holding hands, skipping away as we laugh at the final joke at the end of the movie. We rehearse the funny moments of the movie and laugh again and again. This feeling of happiness is incredible and I prefer this feeling over the clumsy, damp feeling after a serious movie with all my heart. Since I watch movies with my younger sister all the time, I prefer to spend our day with laughter and smiles from a jovial movie instead of brooding over the complex details of a serious movie.

To summarize, I prefer to watch amusing movies over serious movies because the movie creates a simple charm of presenting serious life lessons through colorful characters and the feeling of ease and happiness with another precious person.

Thanks again!

vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Jan 22, 2015   #2
I like the approach that you took in discussing this essay. While you could have presented the thesis of the essay in a better manner in the introduction (the topic of the essay is not really very clear as a discussion relating to an agree or disagree stance), the manner that you presented your line of reasoning is interesting. Basing your opinion on a personal experience is always one of the best ways to present an argument. In your case, your experience as a movie-goer really comes through and exemplifies your opinion in a positive manner. That said, it would have been nice to have read you arguing the opposing argument on the issue because if you weakened the other stance in your argument, you would have further strengthened your stance and, if this were an actual debate, quite possibly won the discussion :-) There are a few grammatical errors here and there but those mistakes did not distract the reader from the purpose of your essay and thus, should not have have an effect on your final grade had this been a formal TOEFL test.

A little reminder at this point. Please remember that an effective introduction in a TOEFL essay always includes the restated prompt, overview of your discussion, and finally, your stance on the matter. Remember that the next time you formulate your essay thesis :-)
OP kibz95 16 / 53 15  
Jan 22, 2015   #3
Hey Ahmad, Thanks for your comment.
I want to clarify that I used the word 'Although'... meaning that even if the serious movies have great directors and whatnot, I still prefer watching funny movies. Yes, I am describing that serious movies have good actors and are top the charts (which is mostly true... Box office results rarely have comedy movies on no.1.Even if they do, they get taken down way faster than other movies. mostly action movies or mystery movies take the spot.) It is true at this point I am saying that serious movies are good because they have good actors and enjoyed by the majority, but still, I would go for the funny ones. Hope that clears up some confusion in my introduction. Thanks for liking my hook!

As for my body, I did say that I dislike movies that runs for hours with deep dialogue and dark storytelling just to tell a life lesson, but it's not the life lesson part I don't like, it's the deep dialogue and storytelling that I dislike. The reason why I put the example Lion King is to prove that movies don't need dark storytelling to convey a life lesson. in other words, I want to learn about life while laughing and having a good time not being glum and brooding over the lessons from a serious movie.

Let me know what you think now~
ah_zafari [Contributor] 40 / 672 148  
Jan 22, 2015   #4
@Kim: thanks for the clarification. I think you are a good writer, especially your vocabulary is in an advanced level. If you fix the minor issues with writing an introductory paragraph, I'm pretty sure you will get a great score in the TOFEL test. I think you need improve conclusion as well. Writing a very short sentence does not make the last paragraph a good conclusion. If you can end the conclusion with an attractive clincher that would be great, even though it is really hard to write an impressive statement under the pressure of time :(
OP kibz95 16 / 53 15  
Jan 22, 2015   #5
I agree... The time for a TOEFL writing in cruel... a full 4-5 paragraph essay in 30 minutes... It is difficult especially if you mess up with the hook and introduction, you waste too much time and begin to panic... Honestly, I barely have time to revise my work, I use up like 29 minutes writing everything...


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