Film Jan. 14 th Casandra Dana
Romantic Comedy (III)
The New Romance
The Classical Romantic Comedy
Basic narrative structure boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl in the end
Difference between the man and woman are eventually overcome
Comedy is usually found in a lovehate conflict – or via secondary characters
Focus on the courtship and romance of the heterosexual couple (ideology of stable man dependent &
30s, 40s, and 50s
Effects of Feminism are reflected resulting in a threat to the ideals presented in Classic Romantic
Male figure is more “emotional” unstable – destabilizing the traditional notions of masculinity
Security of the traditional romantic union is questioned
Narrative structure is fragmented and nonlinear
Relationship is unsuccessful because both characters cannot find common ground without risking a
damaging loss of self
The New Romance
Mid1980s: new group of RC appear
Wishful embrace of idealized heterosexual union
Steve Neale calls them New Romances
Blind Date, Roxanne, Who’s that girl,, Moonstruck, and Overboard all released in 1987
Steve Neal identifies four main features:
1. Asserting values of oldfashioned heterosexual romance.
reclaiming conventions of classical Romantic Comedy 2. Nervousness relabeled as “eccentricity”.
Hallmarks of either or both member of the couple
Neurosis/Nervousness/Eccentricity cured marginalized, and sometimes adopted by the right
Return to a linear narrative.
3. Suggests events in courtship actually leading somewhere.
Counters threat of female independence
4. Use of romantic music.
Evocation and endorsement of signs and values of “oldfashioned romance.”