The secret life of romantic comedy offers a new approach to one of the most popular and resilient genres in the history of Hollywood. Steering away from the rigidity and ideological determinism of traditional accounts of the genre, this book advocates a more flexible theory, which allows the student to explore the presence of the genre in unexpected places, extending the concept to encompass films that are not usually considered romantic comedies.
Combining theory with detailed analyses of a selection of films, including To Be or Not to Be (1942), Rear Window (1954), Kiss Me Stupid (1964), Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989) and Before Sunset (2004), the book aims to provide a practical framework for the exploration of a key area of contemporary experience - intimate matters - through one of its most powerful filmic representations: the genre of romantic comedy.
Original and entertaining, The secret life of romantic comedy is perfect for students and academics of film and film genre. -- .
Celestino Deleyto is Professor in English Literature and Film at the University of Zaragoza, Spain -- .
List of illustrations Acknowledgements Introduction 1. The theory of romantic comedy Romantic comedy and laughter Happy endings, forgotten middles and the ideology of romantic comedy The space of romantic comedy The Sydney issue Genres and films 2. Comic negotiations I. Laughter, love and World War II: *To be or not to be* Love and the invasion of Poland A table for three: the love triangle Lubitsch meets screwball royalty That great, great Polish actor Performing love, performing war II. Romantic comedy in no man's land: Kiss me, stupid Romantic comedy in the 1950s Satire and comedy Moral standards and character identification Climaxing in Climax Bang, bang Comic combinations 3. Romantic comedy on the dark side I. The other thrills of *Rear window* Look at me Society calling It started with a kiss The neverending story II. The space of comedy and beyond: *Crimes and misdemeanors* Love, faith and the comic space Inside the Statue of Liberty or love in the time of cholera Splitting genres The fisher king and the future generations 4. Contemporary romantic comedy and the discourse of independence Love in real time: *Before sunset* The realities of love Walking and talking Sex and the city Bibliography Index -- .