The old saying goes that there's only 7 stories in Hollywood and the studios find new ways to tell them over and over. That's not far from the truth and usually they're able to find new and different angles so that unsuspecting audiences are nonethewiser (well, the average movie-goer anyway). Buddy-cop movies, rom-coms, teen-coms... they're all the same but the good ones always have a new hook or something different to offer. But there are two formulas, which never change and never will.
What is it about coaches & teams and teachers & students? For decades Hollywood studios have pumped out one after the other, the next the same as the last. You all know the formulas and, in fact, both are the same. A losing team is inspired by a new coach or a rowdy classroom is inspired by a new teacher... these are proven, sure-fire hits and there must be a reason we flock to them, despite having seen it all before. What is there to gain from watching REMEMBER THE TITANS if you've already seen COACH CARTER? And if you loved TO SIR WITH LOVE then what's the point of watching DANGEROUS MINDS?
I guess we can relate. We've all been students and most of us will have had that one teacher who inspired great things... or that one coach who encouraged you to be all that you could be. Most of us are good people and want the best from one another and stories of triumph instill a sense of belief in ourselves. Perhaps subconsciously they perpetuate a driving force in us to always grow and learn. The quality of most of these films is excellent. From classics like BLACKBOARD JUNGLE, GOODBYE MR CHIPS, TO SIR WITH LOVE to modern re-tellings like DEAD POETS SOCIETY, DANGEROUS MINDS AND FREEDOM WRITERS - if they weren't all so generic, they could be considered exceptional.
The popularity and longevity of this formula proves that we love them. The fact that they never change shows that we don't really want them to either. So what is it that you get out of these films? Are you a fan or more specifically, are you a closet fan? I would love to hear different thoughts. Please join the discussion.