We’ve told you before about JustWatch, a service that allows you to search for a movie to discover where it is available for streaming or rental. But JustWatch also offers features to help you find a movie if you aren’t sure what you want to watch — including a new one that lets you search for films and TV shows based on a plot description.
Type out a story to search for what to watch
Get creative with your search by using the “Plot Recommender,” a tool to, as JustWatch puts it, “discover movies and TV shows based on any story.” Designed like a typewriter, the recommender function puts you in the screenwriter’s seat. You can type up a bunch of plot details, or just one single word, and the site will scour its database to find the perfect match using keywords.
Admittedly, as with dating apps, your match probably won’t be 100% accurate, but it could be a good way to find a movie that fits your current mood or interest. The results will vary, to say the least; I typed “sad” and my matches included a slew of B-grade horror films… which are kind of sad, in concept. It’s a delicate process, but if you think of it as a creative way to source something to watch, it can be fun.
Experiment with unique stories
Have fun with the text to see what the engine brings up. I wrote an original logline: “A magical creature must save the world by protecting a sorcerer’s gem.” The recommender pinpointed the fantasy plot perfectly and offered titles like Legend, Dragonslayer, and The Dark Crystal.
Let the site write for you
Suffering from writer’s block? The site offers the option to have it “Ghostwrite a story for me.” Click it, and a story unfolds in front of your eyes and generates a pitch — and some of the auto-typed tales are quite involved. Once the plot is finished spooling out, scroll down to reveal a list of loosely matched films and TV shows from around the world.
The ghostwriter’s action-thriller plot returned a list of wartime films like The Hurt Locker, as well as the suspense series Killing Eve. Each time you select the “ghostwriter” a new and seemingly unique plot is created. If it’s more an experiment in machine learning than anything else, it’s still a fun way to randomise your watchlist and brings the excitement back to your streaming life.