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Show HN: I made a movie recommendation app based on your mood (mood2movie.com)
163 points by marclou on Nov 27, 2021 | hide | past | favorite | 109 comments

I think it would be great if you could make a distinction, whether I want to get out of a mood, or intensify this mood.

E.g., if I'm feeling sad, I'd like to get distracted to get out of this mood. Or I want to amplify this mood, so I might need another movie.

“My schedule for today lists a six-hour self-accusatory depression,” Iran said.

“What? Why did you schedule that?” It defeated the whole purpose of the mood organ. “I didn’t even know you could set it for that,” he said gloomily.

-- Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Phillip K. Dick

It's interesting to see how different people deal with different feelings. Personally, when I'm feeling sad, I want to stay with the feeling -- not wallow in it, but let it "flow", so it eventually gets out of my system. Movies can be quite cathartic that way.

It depends on the circumstance, which I believe was the GP's point. Sometimes I do want to explore the sadness for a bit, but other times I want to be cheered up.

This is very interesting. I'm trying more to become a person like that. It's way healthier to accept emotions than try to always run away from them

Recommends mortal combat for thoughtful?


It recommended it for me for being SLEEPY.

it recommend it for weird, i think them can a like this movie

Combat, sacrilege. Its MK, Mortal Kombat.

Couldn't you select for what mood you want to be in?

I wish I could make this distinction for myself

We experimented with this idea at Disney in 2012 with short form content. We learned a few things by building basically this exact experience.

First, it’s not really different from Netflix-style sliders, except it’s hiding more things behind clicks. Second, finding a good recommendation isn’t the hard problem…it’s getting people to hit play on what’s being recommended. I don’t know how many times I get recommended Vanilla Sky, I can’t seem to work up the fortitude of committing a couple hours to watching Tom Cruise.

This is why clips and auto-play experiences are so big these days. It takes away the need to hit play and the investment is low. It’s why Netflix is rolling out the Play Something experience.

The thing that stops me from watching movies/shows when recommended by some automated system is the lack of information. All of these systems either start playing the video or have a one line blurb "You will like this because you watched some other show."

Just give me a proper blurb about the show/movie. Just because I'm in an app to watch things doesn't mean you don't still have to sell me on watching something. Hell, personalising a text blurb to my tastes and mood could be really powerful. Even showing me the trailer rather than starting the movie would be an improvement.

This sort of stuff, plus the complete disrespect for the emotional downtime needed at the end of some episodes* makes me think the people in charge of these places don't even fucking watch TV.

* The show makers get this, the episode smash cuts to black and the credits roll with a slow, quiet song while you decompress. Then BAM next episode, no moment to think about and enjoy the experience you just had.

We explored that (I believe Netflix did, too). The challenge became making relevant promos. I don’t know a lot about the science of producing trailers, but if you look at old ones they are more dated than the movie. The cost of what you’re suggesting is high, and there isn’t a lot of evidence that it really improves conversion.

But it doesn't even have to be a trailer. Did you look at text promos?

Yeah I know what you meant. If you're looking for synopsis beyond existing text promos, it's still a significant cost to watch and summarize. It's still not a lot cheaper and quite arduous.

> Even showing me the trailer rather than starting the movie would be an improvement.

God yes. I use the Netflix app on mute and do this silly dance around between titles while I'm considering them to avoid it.

It probably looks like I'm really 'engaged'...

Maybe the recommendations just aren't that good in that case? If they were good wouldn't people hit play?

I suspect there is a sense of commitment and potentially subtle signals of self criticism in actually “choosing” to watch a recommended film.

Have you ever had something recommended to you that you really dragged your feet on watching but once you did you really enjoyed? That’s the bigger challenge than actual recommendations these days.

I think it’s a paradox of choice and, in a family setting, trouble finding something that fits the taste/mood of a few people.

You have to watch Vanilla sky! I think most people's problem is that they want something easy to watch, and recent. This is because we're lazy, and we are attracted by novelty (and novelty fades away quickly).

The first thought that comes to mind upon reading your comment is that though "the recommendation" may be "good" in a narrow sense, if people don't click on it, maybe it's not a "good recommendation" in a broader sense.

More broadly, when friends recommend a book, show, movie, new snack, etc., is it possible to divorce the "content" being recommended to them from the other information in the recommendation?

I think there’s some post hoc ergo prompter hoc with blaming recommendations if someone doesn’t want to watch what’s being recommended. If you watch what’s recommended to you and you don’t like it…that’s a bad recommendation. If you don’t even watch it, then there’s likely other factors than the recommendation that are barriers to watching.

If you don't feel like watching Tom Cruise in Vanilla Sky you're quite lucky, because you can just watch Open Your Eyes instead.

I believe this, because of how successful TT was w infinite scroll, auto-play.

RE: Vanilla Sky

There are interesting moments to that film, (like the holographic jazz player at the fancy party) but it isn't worth sitting for to see Cruise if you haven’t already seen Top Gun, Mission Impossible, Day After Tomorrow and Minority Report.

I’m not really a fan of Tom Cruise, but I thought he was pretty great in Magnolia.

I agree, his performance is good. Also, this film is closer to Vanilla Sky in type than the others I listed.

I hate, loathe, and despise auto-play solutions. I finally figured out how to kill that feature of Netflix, so that I can enjoy watching it a lot more.

If they bring back enforced auto-play, then I’m deleting the fucking account.

it completely ruins my experience as well. When I finish watching something, I want to take time to digest and reflect on what I just saw, to relish in the mood or feeling that I was put in by the show/film, not get mindlessly forced into something new.

I can't stand this whole "engagement" agenda that media/entertainment tech companies are pushing so damn hard down our throats more and more everyday.

And I really don't get it. The more we "engage" the more content we will burn through per unit time. So without auto play horse shit I might watch an episode or two a night and really marinate in it. But the auto play is always pushing my to watch more, so maybe I won't marinate, maybe I watch 4 or 5 episodes tonight.

Now the good show I was watching is over... now what? Watch something else? Maybe I ran out of good things. Do I really need to keep paying for this service? I've already watched all the good stuff.

What's your opinion on the abundance of content on platforms like Netflix, Prime, etc?

To me, seeing 20 movie thumbnails at the glance adds noise and makes the decision harder.

Play Something's Netflix experience seems the way to go

"100 channels and nothing's on" is an old phenomenon. People become paralyzed by choice because they feel they need to make the optimal choice, which simply doesn't exist.


I used to spend hours researching for a movie to watch, looking at reviews on IDMd, genres, actors, trailers...

Ironically, I feel like the abundance of movies is making it harder to pick one.

I've noticed I tend to watch movies based on how feel so I tried to mimic this behavior with Mood2Movie.

1/ It maps your feeling to movie genres you might be interested in. I.e. if you're sleepy you might want to watch an action movie or a comedy

2/ It only fetches great movies with a rating > 6.7 on IMDb

If you're also picky about which movie to watch, give Mood2Movie and try, and hopefully, it'll work for you too.

Enjoy the show!

I think you've taken your personal preferences and tried to apply them to everyone else.

if you're sleepy you might want to watch an action movie or a comedy

If I'm sleepy, I want to watch a calming movie, or something thoughtful because I'm going to sleep soon. Watching an action movie when I'm sleepy might be good for you, or maybe a long-haul trucker. But not for everyone.

This is where every recommendation engine from Netflix to Facebook to Apple Music falls down. People are messy. And there's too many of them to generalize.

It only fetches great movies with a rating > 6.7 on IMDb

Using online ratings services is a bad idea. They've become polluted. Movies that are enormously important or entertaining or just plain good are losing more and more ratings points because they're being re-rated by non-experts and people who don't understand the context or history. The movies haven't changed. The people rating then have. So what you end up with is the lowest common denominator films getting the highest ratings.

*Using online ratings services is a bad idea.*

While some viewers might change their ratings, I believe the crowd will surface the truth at the end

It hasn't happened yet. And this has been going on for years.

That's why some web sites show separate ratings based on who's rating them. They tally the ratings of professional film critics separately from those of the hoi polloi.

Couple of thoughts:

1. I'm not really sure what making this so interactive accomplishes. The result seems akin to a listicle: "X Great Movies to Watch When You're Feeling Y", except with a lot more clicks required and, importantly, no curation. I think I would prefer to see a static list of recommendations with a "random" button and a cool blog post linked about how the recommendations were generated. Furthermore, it seems fairly safe to say (?) that the site isn't dynamically generating recommendations because the list exhausts rather quickly, after 10 or so. Just make a list!

2. The lack of curation leads to a lot of strangeness in the recommendations. For example, my first choice was feeling "weird". I got a bunch of blockbuster action films: Justice League, Avengers: Endgame, Thor: Ragnarok, Interstellar, Black Panther, Captain Marvel.

Ironically, I feel like the abundance of movies is making it harder to pick one.

This sounds like the difference between Optimizing and Satisficing personality traits.

An optimizer wants to find the best choice. The more choices, the harder that is.

The Satisficer just wants to find one that's good enough. Having more choices generally makes that easier, if it comes with a directory or some way to search.

I like the idea of the site but it doesn't match what I want when I'm in a particular mood. If I'm sleepy, I'm more likely to want to watch something chill. If I'm sad, I'm more likely to want to watch something sad. But there are also situations where I want the opposite, so it's not like there's a hard rule. I feel like the site would be better asking what mood they want to be in, instead of trying to guess it based on their current mood.

I quite like it, I am not sure if I’m the popular opinion but I feel like you should remove the back button/history update for every movie. There is no reason it needs to add a new history entry for every carousel change.

I think it would actually be better not to have the carousel at all, but paginated with like, 5-10 per page?

Question: how does the app decide which movie corresponds to a certain mood?

@reaperducer got it right, it's based on my personal preferences and it will hopefully match with yours

> It only fetches great movies with a rating > 6.7 on IMDb

I personally find that I'm sometimes in the mood for a hilariously shitty B-movie, like The VelociPastor (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1843303/) or Cat-Women of the Moon (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0045609/), I feel like they could be included in certain moods, e.g. "weird" or "playful".

> It only fetches great movies with a rating > 6.7 on IMDb

We might end up missing some good movies. Maybe adding a choice would be better?

Author tweeted[1] their open traffic, interesting if you've ever wondered what a "Show HN" looks like from the other side https://plausible.io/mood2movie.com

[1] https://twitter.com/marc_louvion/status/1464606400638640143

Love that the top page after homepage is /moveis/horny :D Felix Dennis was so right!

Anyway, love everything about this whole open startups(1) thing. Really amazing to see what happens behind the scenes!

(1) https://baremetrics.com/open-startups

You are asking me "how are you feeling now" and suggesting movies based on it. If I am feeling melancholy you are suggesting more sad movies to me ?

Don't you mean, movie2mood.com ? Ask, "how do you want to feel" and gimme movies which makes me feel so. ?

Simple lovely website and beautiful execution. Good-luck on the launch!

That's a great way of recommending movies too, I'll let you know if I build on top of it. Thanks!

I am a huge movie fan. And always lost in thoughts. So I guess I will go through the whole "reflective" list and see if there is a movie I don't know yet.

Lists of "popular movies" on Netflix etc never click with me. Most stuff out there is too kitchy for me.

One tool that works for me is Gnovies, which finds a mix of 3 movies you put in:


Just went through the GNOD services, it's incredible. Have you used the movie map? https://www.movie-map.com/

Oh yes, I use the map too sometimes.

The reason I mostly use Gnovies is that I often watch together with my girlfriend. So we each put one movie into Gnovies "enter 3 movies you like" form and after some experimentation we usually find a new one we both enjoy.

As always, the real gold is always in comments section. GNOD is exactly what I was looking for.

I wonder why I never stumbled upon it…

This didn't work for me at all. Of 8 or so recommendations it included "Red" "Blue" and "White". Huh? It's also pretty useless without including a year or link to an imbd page.

Spoiler, the above page doesn't exist, but it happens to be the top requested page at the time of writing:


It makes sense. It's the only one that makes you wonder what kind of commercial mainstream films it will recommend? All others clicks will be distributed randomly among all the other buttons.

But, based on the fact that the author offers 'happy' movies if you're feeling sad, he would probably provide some movies that would try to stop you from being horny. :) Now, the question is - what kind of movies can make you stop being horny? :)

This should be a legitimate category. I just want something with an easy plot to watch during a 'netflix and chill' date!

I honestly clicked it thinking it would have some of those 70s/80s comedy like Lampoon or Fast Times

I chose "idyllic", expecting titles like Kiki's Delivery Service, but all the recommendations were either fighting or sports-related movies (Raging Bull, Southpaw, Rocky, etc). Sometimes there's also an issue where the same page loads inside the video frame.

Good idea, just needs a little more polish.

"Parasite" for feeling lonely? Ummm...

The entire set of recommendations for that is rather eyebrow-raising.

As someone who is working on a YT-driven playlist for music myself, I absolutely -HATE- how YT handles deleted and unpublished videos. They strip all information from the player and it can break applications that rely on them.

Applications that leverage YouTube go far in helping Google to maintain it's market dominance, they should help reliant apps to operate smoothly because it greatly supports the company, but if the service is faulty or unreliable over a long period of time without any fixes available, it's probably just a willful handicap to drive people back to YT as a platform rather than truly enabling content sharing.

I understand that there are often valid reasons behind removing videos from display, but YT should at least allow for the title to remain, or a link back to the poster's channel, after a video is no longer available so it doesn't just display a "Video Not Available".

If someone publishes a video, but then needs to edit out parts, the video still exists, but all prior links to it are suddenly broken. That makes using YT for embedded video difficult even though they're the #1 video content platform.

App developers can't simply stand up a "bootleg" streaming service of their own with the level of diverse content that YT has, therefore YT has a bigger responsibility to fix the stability of the content they provide, possibly by allowing creators to replace videos instead of having to completely re-upload them with a new content ID. We're really not able to properly innovate unless we're truly solving traditional and not letting long-standing problems persist.

I have similar feelings for an app that I am developing. But YT is like a shark which don't even cares about the small fishes.

With respect, I think the recommendations are rubbish.

When I say that I’m feeling humorous, I want to see movies that are primarily comedies. Not dramas and all sorts of other things and might also have a few comedic moments.

Match on the first tag, ignore the rest.

Or, if I select that I’m feeling romantic AND humorous, then match on movies that are both romantic AND comedies, not just one or the other.

To those interested in movie recommendation engines, I've been using movielens (https://movielens.org/) for years and it's great. You rate movies you've seen and it predicts which other movies you'll like. The execution is really good: for example, it's aware of popularity, so you can look at movies that others are likely to rate low, but you high, or the opposite.

This doesn't take into account differences in personal preferences, as it doesn't know what movies I prefer, and so can't compare my preferences to other people's. Not everyone has the same tastes, and personal preferences matter.

You could improve your system's recommendations by combining your approach with a collaborative filtering algorithm. Mine's very accurate on small data sets, and a detailed description of it can be found here: fmjlang.co.uk/morse/MORSE.html

Active collaborative filtering is next on the list :)

This is awesome! We (mostly my dad) and I made a very similar website as well: https://flickseeker.com/

Oh this is good! Thank you and your dad!

Hey, this is awesome too! What API do you use for the movies data?

I took the title at face value and went to look for a movie for feeling sleepy…

> Karnan, a fearless village youth, must fight for the rights of the conservative people of his village, due to the torture given by a police officer.

I don’t think this would fit my mood. From skimming the comments it seems like this was intended to counteract my mood.

I guess that might be valuable to other people but for me I’d rather find something compatible with my emotional state, not challenging it, especially if I’m tired.

Interesting concept, but I prefer movielens myself. Having good grades by people who like similar movies is imo a better predictor if I will be enjoying the movie or not. How I'm feeling is of course important, but if I can see the short description of the movie I can decide for myself... Still, movielens dataset is available, maybe combination of the two approaches would be even better?

Haven't heard of movielens before, thanks for sharing!

It gave me "Parasite" as a first suggestion for "Humorous".

The suggestion did make me laugh, so I guess the task failed successfully?

Parasite is usually described as a black comedy thriller. It’s humorous, among other things.

How does your site generate movies? Does it pick random ones from IMDb? If so, more movies would probably come up, even the ones less known. Or did you (developer) make a conscious selection? If so, what is your selection based on?

I have a mapper function mood > genre(s) to get movies by genre(s), then I filter the movies data I get back from the API

Great idea. Anything that helps winnow down to a decidable list of movies is a good thing.

Just a quick note, something's wrong with the movie 'Retfærdighedens ryttere', gets a 404 and doesn't load the youtube preview.

Thanks for the feedback, I'll try to catch that one!

Neat! I just shared with my girlfriend – and I expect we'll use it :)

Also, a very, ~very~ minor gripe but the little flashing, color-changing heart keeps catching my eye and is a little distracting. One man's opinion!

Haha thanks for the feedback John!

I was a bit alarmed that, when I said I was feeling gloomy, it recommended Midsommar! Don’t really think that’s going to help lift my spirits…. Perhaps the UI is confusing me and I’ve missed something.

Why does it recommend happy titles if I choose 'lonely' or 'gloomy'? Don't I want to augment those emotions when I feel them? There should be a NOT operator.

I always waned to makes a recommendation system based on personality type, or even better movies where two people would enjoy based on their personality type.

Surprisingly decent, for what it is.

It would be great to have something to give feedback on whether it actually picked a movie that lines up with the mood I've picked.

Crowd-sourcing, I love it! Thanks for sharing, I'll work in it

How did you build this app? I'm learning to code, and am always fascinated by the programming languages chosen and why. Tech stack etc...

React on the front-end, expressjs on the back-end.

App is deployed on Heroku & movies data come from RapidAPI

The app seems neat, I do wonder how did you get the IMDB ratings? Did you hard code it or did you find an api which gets their rating?

Thank you! Movie data are coming from RapidAPI

I like that this seems to trend towards newer movies, a lot of other recommendation platforms seem to ignore year of release.

Heh I clicked through a few recommended titles and then the app reported "Feeling undefined" :D

Oops.. maybe that could be a real feeling sometimes? ^^

Nice, I like it and can see myself using it. It would be even better if there was always a link to IMDB.

Reflecting on past experiences, does anybody else find that first checking IMDB for a score has ultimately been a flop of a habit? Also, IMDB, it’s not what it used to be am I right?

Data are being fetched from IMDb. What's missing on the app that you'd like to see on IMDb?

I think the app and the data it contains is good as it is. I would just occasionally like to check data from IMDb such as actors, directors, similar movies and all the stuff one can find on IMDb. A mere link to IMDb could provide more info to those who want it, without polluting your already great site with more data.

I chose sleepy mood and got recommended Tenet. Not the easiest movie to follow when you’re half asleep.

Would it work the other way round too? I feel like watching John Wick again, tell me how I feel…

clicking for each title recommendation is a bit tedious maybe have more suggestions per page?

There should be a way to choose more than one tag, or exclude a tag:

+ Romantic and - Drama


+ Romantic and + Comedy

Also, I love the Horny gag.

Glad you liked it!

Thanks for the recommendation

It recommended me straight outta Compton, and I watched it. Thanks

I clicked on "weird" and half the results are Marvel movies?

Please add a hungover category

What movie genres would you recommend in there?

I was kind of being silly but I do think there's a certain type of film that is particularly enjoyable when hungover. Usually a fairly basic action film that's not too taxing on the brain with plenty of visual stimulus!

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