Put classical music and slow motion in scenes that are crucial. This will automatically make the viewers understand that this is an important and touching scene, and make them rate the movie as such.
If you read the short review of this movie in Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide it says: "Aimed squarely at a teenage audience".
I think that's hugely misleading. What made this movie quite enjoyable for me, and I'm definitely no teenager, was the fact that it made me remember what it was like to BE a teenager. Those endless nights where you never got tired, going from party to party with your best friends, laughing hard and getting excited over this…
You have to remember that this movie almost never got released. And the reason was the ending. The ending, that to this day, in my book, is the greatest ending of a movie ever. Bleak, yes, but great. The "alternative" ending, that the studio pushed hard enough to make Fincher almost leave the project, had Mills (Pitt) racing back to his apartment to find his wife (Paltrow) in the tub, while John Doe (Spacey) tries to get into the apartment…