Famous co-stars such as Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant to Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, have made screwball and romantic comedies a big seller at the box office. These seemingly timeless genres are as popular today as ever! This book takes a closer look at the precise meanings of the terms screwball and romantic. Film fans and scholars alike tend to lump film with laughter and love under a screwball/romantic umbrella and use the terms screwball and romantic interchangeably. In reality, there is a distinction; the screwball variety places its emphasis on "funny," while the more traditional romantic comedy accents "love." Covering over 60 titles each of romantic and screwball comedy dating from the 1930s to the present, this research tool not only demonstrates how screwball and romantic comedy are two distinct genres, but also highlights pivotal social and artistic changes which impacted both genres. Includes 24 black and white movie stills, countless quotations from selected films, an annotated bibliography, and a two-part filmography. Not only an informative resource for film students and scholars, but also an interesting read for film buffs.
About the Author
Wes D. Gehring is Professor of Film at Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, and an Associate Media Editor of USA Today Magazine. He is the author of 16 critically acclaimed books including individual volumes on the comedy genres of populism, comedy, personality comedian, dark comedy, and screwball comedy. His other books include biographies of Charlie Chaplin, Laurel & Hardy, W.C. Fields, and the Marx Brothers.
Table of Contents
|Chapter 2||Screwball Comedy||29|
|Chapter 3||Romantic Comedy||67|
|Chapter 4||Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn||97|
|Chapter 5||Screwball and Romantic Comedy in the Modern Era: Since 1960||145|
|Selected Annotated Bibliography||209|
|About the Author||222|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
“Wes Gehring (Ball State University) is back with yet another of his discourses on the nature and genres of film comedy. Ever since his research on the comic antiheroes of American films, his remarkable studies have ranged from his bio-bibliography Marx Brothers (CH, Mar’88) to American dark Comedy (CH, Dec ’96). However, his classic Screwball Comedy: Defining a film Genre (1983) remains the highpoints of his writings....[In this book on] the 1930s Depression origins of the sister genres of comic courtship---the madcap screwball comedy and the reality-based romantic comedy---Gehring shows how the two grew up into unique and contrasting types. For example, he points to plot pacing and differing emphasis on being funny versus accenting love as distinguishing codes. He presents a specialized portrait on double duty stars Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn, who paired in both genres. His most notable contributions is a survey of modern-era variations and twists on both screwball and romantic comedies, e.g., The Runaway Bride and Sleepless in Seattle, respectively….Choice, March 2003 vol. 40, p1190