Formerly, a kind of drama having a musical accompaniment to intensify the effect of certain scenes. Now, a drama abounding in romantic sentiment and agonizing situations, with a musical accompaniment only in parts which are especially thrilling or pathetic. In opera, a passage in which the orchestra plays a somewhat descriptive accompaniment, while the actor speaks; as, the melodrama in the gravedigging scene of Beethoven's "Fidelio".
The world sometimes feels like an insane asylum. You can decide whether you want to be an inmate or pick up your visitor's badge. You can be in the world but not engage in the melodrama of it; you can become a spiritual being having a human experience thoroughly and fully. Deepak Chopra
I think that's what distinguishes Schmidt, really. In the movies now, so much of what is appealing to an audience is the dramatic or has to do with science fiction, and Schmidt is simply human. There's no melodrama; there's no device, It's just about a human being. Jack Nicholson