Thursday, March 27, 2008


It is truly fitting that Spring is on the move. We have just finished the Screwball and the Romantic Comedy unit. While they both focus on love and comedy, Screwball stresses comedy while the Romantic Comedy stresses romance. The Screwball focuses on the plot around the romance, the craziness that usually ensues around the two main characters. And of course, it has to be a funny situation. In His Girl Friday, Hildy Johnson plays the un-typical role of the strong and sassy heroine, while her ex-husband Walter Burns, playes the counterpart and source of friction for Hildy. There is obvious flirtation and romance but it is overshadowed by the crazy plotline as Walter and Hildy hide a man on the run. Recent Screwball movies include the Kenneth Branagh version of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, and the Sandra Bullock film Two Weeks Notice. What I love about the Screwball is that the typical roles are reversed, the female is dominant and she gets some good lines too.
Ah, the Romantic Comedy. The Romantic Comedy's main focus is on romance, of course. The main characters take on the roles of the lovestruck woman and the heroic man, and, of course, they end up together in the end. There are humorous moments that add to the romance, or if comedy is not related to the romance, it does not overshadow it. The Romantic Comedy we watched was Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Joel and Clementine are in a relationship until one day Clementine doesn't remember Joel. This is because she has had her memory of him erased. Yes, erased. The main focus is on the deteriorating relationship between Joel and Clem, there are funny moments and they contribute to the relationship and the fact that it is becoming nonexistant. The movie is dark and at first glance it does not seem like a Romantic Comedy, but it is. The main reason why people believe this is because nowadays people seem to mistake the Romantic Comedy for the ever powerful Chick Flick.
The Chick flick and the Romantic Comedy are not the same, I repeat, they ARE NOT THE SAME. The Chick Flick is a lot like the Romantic Comedy, they are both centered around romance and usually feature a woman who gets herself into comedic trouble (all for the romance- or either it doesn't detract from it- of course). But while the Romantic Comedy appeals to everyday people, the Chick Flick appeals to, well, chicks. And this means that there is the obviously-hotter-than-normal male interest (think James Marsden in 27 Dresses and Brad Pitt in Thelma and Louise) who is too perfect to be real, the female lead always owns a great wardrobe (Devil Wears Prada) and , and undying love speeches made to the female while she is crying (Jerry Maguire). In contrast, the Romantic Comedy showcases men who may not have perfect bodies or profess their love on a daily basis (When Harry Met Sally) but they are realistic and relatable. The women may not have the greatest duds (I Capture the Castle), but they make that up in their humor and personality. Don't get me wrong, I love a good chick flick, but what I really enjoy is the kind of movie you can feel good, laugh at, and enjoy with a guy who doesn't go groaning to the theatre when you mention the title.

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