The mention of a romantic comedy triggers a preoccupation of a striking story about romance told with a light tone and incomplete without a humorous touch. It is evident for any writer that a simple statement is easy to craft but difficult to accomplish. However, at the centre stage, the question is why is it necessary for romantic comedies to engage the interests of the audience? Such a question can best be understood and answered when one tries to define the concept of a romantic comedy. In any case, it is difficult to come up with a joint definition of “romantic” and “comedy” together as an artistic genre. However, it is possible to tell what romantic comedy is all about. This genre has quite unique attributes that visibly separates it from other genres. Although this art is characterized many sub-genres, all revolve around two core concepts; love and laugh. This study analyses the key concepts in romantic comedy highlighting challenging ideas in the definition with a review on some definitions. An example of the “Sleepless in Seattle- (1993)” is further used in the study and finally point out the limitations that prompts difficulty in defining a romantic comedy.
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To begin with, is the analysis of how this study adds to or challenges ideas from the existing literature. In this connection, states that it is complex to define the art of romantic comedy since comedy and romance can be considered as two separate genre categories. However, this study postulates that the two can form a single genre since “pure” comedy as well as “pure” romance genre may lack love and laughter respectively posing a situation of incomplete entertainment. The two elements are core for a romantic comedy in addition to other themes. begins by defining the term genre as a French word d for 'kind'. This implies that romantic comedy as a genre is one of the types of filming or the film industry. He further suggests that not only romantic comedies offer simple options for pleasure but other genre movies provide the enjoyment as well only that the formula of their plot is easily recognizable. This study agrees with his postulation but affirms that the plot of a romantic comedy can as well be easily established. King, advocates that the regular episodes of both romance and comedy within a single genre generates difficulties in understanding what precisely entails the rom-com genre. Indeed, defining this genre as a clear-cut genre is difficult, since the prevalence of the two constituent terms in the film industry can be considered individual categories. Furthermore, a definition in view of romantic comedies as movies with light-hearted, comical striking story line centered on passionate ideas such as a "true love", "Ideal Couple"can be accepted. This is because the definition appreciates the core concepts of love and laughter in the romantic comedies. Basically the plot of a romantic comedy could centre about two people: a man and a woman get together engage in an argument or other artificial obstacles then finally part ways without romantically getting involved at the initial stages. The pretence here can be that they do not know each other, one has a spouse or maybe either of them has social pressures. This study however notes that the screenwriter may leave noticeable clues which suggest that the concerned characters are attracted to each other as well as make good love counterparts. The plot may further be twisted in that one or both realizes afterwards that they indeed can be “perfect" for each other, or are in love with the other individual. Then, one of the two involved characters may make some magnificent efforts to get the other person and speak out their love usually called the grand gesture. Alternatively, the two can astonishingly or coincidentally meet again. Then, conceivably with some comic chafing or awkwardness, they may then declare their love for each other ending the film happily. However, this study also notes that further variations on the basic plotline may be injected into the flow by introducing a third character that can make a love match with one of the lead characters which can be solved comically. further describes a romantic comedy as a film with its central narrative glide centered on quest for love as well as portraying a quest for a lighthearted, humorous and comic conclusion.
Three grand components warrant a consideration when assessing the internal aspects of a romantic film genre, descending from the outside and then deeper into the film attributes. These are, visual traits, narrative model as well as the wider ideology. In this concept, visual characteristics are used to clarify romantic comedies by the type of images and visual impressions found in them. Sequentially, these images may become laden with comic as well as passionate symbolism depending on the sub genre of the romantic comedy. They are further used as icons and a study on the genre can be based on the provided visual icons entitled iconography which can aid in the study of the romantic comedy. McArthur also suggests that iconography can contain locations or physical setting, props as well as costumes in addition to stock characters such as barmen, saloon attendants among others. This is true for romantic comedies since iconographic uses based on the settings, props and stock characters are a target of creating a comic and passionate environment towards the audience. The second component is the narrative pattern or storyline. In this component, it basically shows that films in the same genre will probably utilize same narrative patterns. The wider ideology is the third component. This comp0onent has it thattheideology of a romantic comedy is able to reflect as well as challenge the anxieties, assumptions in addition to the desires of a specific romantic comedy film. The essential ideology that romantic comedy genre holds up is the primary importance a couple is given as lead characters. Thus, based on the first outline of this study, it can be concluded that indeed definition of a romantic comedy is indeed challenging. However, with a review of some literature, a divergence taken by this study is that it is possible to couple the romantic genre with the comedy genre into a single genre as the existence of two as separate entities may not fully meet the intended purpose of entertainment which is the basis of all artistic works such as filming.
The second outline of this study was to provide brief account of the media text that can be used in the analysis of romantic comedy films or movies. To investigate the fundamental principles entailed in a romantic comedy, a structural breakdown of the comedy “Sleepless in Seattle-1993” has been used in this study. The basis of this story is that true soul mates can get each other despite impediments that may hinder them being together. Thus, it is important to note that this applies to both romance and possible comic obstacles. First, the comedy opens with Tom Hanks at his wife’s funeral. In comical and romantic inclination, a question may arise: Can Tom recover from the trauma of losing his beloved wife? In romantic comedy, this scene is meant to raise the dramatic purpose of the storyline. The focal point of this opening shot of the scene is exclusively on Hanks and his son engaging the audience through the characters of the duo. When the camera pulls away the focus from Hanks and his son, it is when one realizes that indeed it is a funeral day but not just a visit to the grave. The focus unravels an actual funeral service in progress, a revelations that deepens the dramatic impact of this scene. The purpose of this scene is to deliberately guide the viewers on what is dramatically essential, something that could not easily be brought out if the writer simply started by describing the events leading to the death of Hanks wife . For comic purposes, it can be postulated that the film is not about Hanks’ wife death but probably on whether he will recover from the grief and how.
The second scene opens whereby friends to Hanks ask him if he can figure out the process of making an orange juice. This dramatic shift of questions on the recovery to making juice indicates that the film actually is inclined towards finding out if indeed Hanks will recover. The scene is brief but also introduces other characters (Hanks’ friends) without a clue of their traits. This is a characteristic of typical dramatic comedies. By restraining the figure of characters on the screen, the writer intends to guide the audience towards the dramatically stake. The third scene is at Hanks' office where a man comes to offer a card on his therapist. Hanks gets a few cards about some existing recovery groups. Even though not shown whether indeed Hanks visits these groups but one thing that lingers in the mind of the viewer is that Hanks cannot recover on his own. This creates more drama to be expected and possible a background of Hanks traits. He opts to move to another city answering the earlier questions on what he could do to overcome the trauma. At the airport, his friends encourage him that over time he will start dating again but Hanks is reluctant to come to terms with ever getting a replacement for his wife. A love song further highlights if tom can find another love. The Next scene is designed to launch the kind of relationship Ryan and Pullman have: practical, but nothing special and no pizzazz. The viewers are being prepared in a faint way to want Ryan to meet and mingle with Hanks. This scenario triggers romance. The idea that true love is magical and special is highlighted. With the perception that Ryan is the best fit of Hanks among the audience, the question that emerges is how this scene can be made more dramatic to meet the calls of a romantic comedy. In the consequent series, Ryan announces her engagement to Pullman! What follows is risen tension among the viewers who will get the urge to watch the next parts of the movie. They want to know what eventually happens and the possibility of Ryan meeting Hunks yet they are miles away from each other. After the engagement however, Ryan’s mother asks her daughter if she has had satisfying sex with her fiancée! This is comic in sense that it makes the story fresh. Events further unfold when Ryan tries her wedding dress on. Her mother points out at the tipping that Pullman is not the right person for her but rather true love waiting out there. The idea behind this story could have been about true spouses meeting in a comical environment. However, when Hanks son calls for a live radio show to talk about his father’s past experience, Ryan learns about it. First, a son calling for the show can be seen to be phony. Besides, a phone call conversation between Hanks and his son can mirror out the onset of the changing interactions between parents and their children. Ryan flies to Seattle unexpectedly with aim of meeting Hanks. When she sees him juggling and laughing with friends, Ryan concludes that he is in a romantic relationship. However, the initial scenes did not show this juggling and laughing as part of Hanks traits.
From this media text, evidence can be drawn to expound on the uniqueness of romantic comedies as compared to other films such as horror or fiction and action movies. it is clear that enduring fame and moderate cost and consistent offering of sturdy roles for both men and women, a well drafted and directed romantic comedy script is one of the best means possible to begin or advance any ones screenwriting career. These movies are not only hilarious, sexy and interesting, but they also provide great opportunities for exploring deeper levels of inside conflicts, character growth and theme. Definitely, love stories drama can attain thematic strength and complexity which rarely reach the mass audience which romantic comedies constantly attract. As much as action films, thrillers and scientific fictions and documentaries deal chiefly with physical audacity, romantic comedies compels their heroes to widen the emotionalcourage indispensable in exposing their innermost fears and weaknesses.
From the example, a limit to this study can be cited to be on clear understanding of what different genre offer in terms of entertainment. However, it is recommended that romantic comedies have a better chance since they challenge both the physical and emotional nature of the viewer.
In conclusion, a romantic comedy can generally be attributed to striking story about romance usually delivered to the audience with a light and humorous touch. It often presents an experience of joint intimacy among couples whether married or dating, old and young. They usually adhere to humor as well as mores of their time. Above all, they are good sources of entertainment as well as providing educative skills essential for every day’s life.
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