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Reel to real: Gender, genre, and the Hollywood romantic comedy
This study examines the Hollywood romantic comedy in the context of gender and genre. Utilizing a variety of methodologies, it identifies the generic conventions, inventions, and interventions within Hollywood romantic comedy texts that: (1) affirm patriarchal ideology, (2) challenge patriarchal ideology, and (3) both affirm and challenge patriarchal ideology. Furthermore, through a content, textual, and historical analysis of the "top" 100 Hollywood romantic comedy texts produced between 1970-1995, it demonstrates how the Hollywood romantic comedy has cycled between progress and backlash in its depictions of, and attitudes toward, American women. During the 1970s, the Hollywood romantic comedy exploited its ideological contradictions in order to challenge traditional gender roles and sexual hierarchies. In the 1980s and 1990s, the Hollywood romantic comedy reversed course, containing its ideological contradictions in order to reinforce traditional gender roles and sexual hierarchies. In a final analysis, this study concludes that the Hollywood romantic comedy neither intrinsically affirms patriarchal ideology nor radically rejects it. Rather, it both affirms and rejects patriarchal ideology, and the key to decoding its practices of signification rests in deciphering how it manages to balance its ideological contradictions, and in exploring the specific historical conditions that can--and do--occasionally tip that balance. ^
Women's Studies|Sociology, General|Cinema
Mark David Rubinfeld,
"Reel to real: Gender, genre, and the Hollywood romantic comedy"
(January 1, 1997).
Electronic Doctoral Dissertations for UMass Amherst.