In film criticism, the notion of the "feel-good film" mainly serves as an evaluative term which bears both positive and negative connotations depending on the supposed legitimacy of the films' affective and emotional effect. However, the notion of the feel-good film also serves as a popular generic orientation for audiences seeking and enjoying certain films due to their "feel-good factor". Here, the feel-good effect often serves as an end in itself.
Yet neither have the meanings of the "feel-good" factor for audiences been sufficiently explored, nor is there any agreement which films meet the condition of eliciting a feel-good state in the viewer. Clearly, this calls for further research on the generic and affective features of typical feel-good films as well as on the consumers' experiences of such films. The current project aims at closing this gap in media and audience studies. Based on empirical investigations into the affective and cognitive responses of audiences toward those films they consider to be "feel-good" films the project intends to deliver a concise outline of the feel-good film as a distinct "movie type".