British actress Emma Thompson is convinced films have become too dark and depressing in recent years, and she wants to see Hollywood making more "happy" movies.

The Love Actually star fears too many of today's films aim to teach the audience a lesson instead of entertaining them, and she warns the industry has become too serious.

Speaking during a press conference to promote her new movie The Love Punch at the Toronto International Film Festival in Canada, she says, "I'm fascinated by the fact that at the moment we don't seem to make films that are designed to make us happy from the beginning to the end. We always have to go on some journey or other, do you know what I mean? In the olden days, sometimes actors were required to entertain and make people happy for the sake of that. And I think it's something we've slightly lost."

Thompson goes on to criticise "snobby" young film stars who feel like they are "above" taking part in publicity campaigns for their projects, insisting it is an actor's job to entice audiences into cinemas.

She urges young actors to imagine their movie publicity campaigns are more like a turn at Scotland's Edinburgh Festival, adding, "You go up the Royal Mile (part of the city) with a drum and you bang that drum and you say, 'I'm in this show. It's really good, come and see it.' That's what you do. And if you don't do that, no one will come and see your show because there are a million shows and there are a lot of people who are better than you. So you better get out on that street with that drum. Explain why you love your show. Say why you think it's good. Be behind it... And if you can't be behind it, don't do work you don't believe in."

Thompson concludes by urging serious young stars to lighten up: "This is a job. Make it fun. Make it fun for other people, make it fun for yourself."