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Hollywood Romantic ComedyStates of the Union, 1934-65$
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Kathrina Glitre

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780719070785

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719070785.001.0001

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Conclusion: the extraordinary couple

Conclusion: the extraordinary couple

(p.181) Conclusion: the extraordinary couple
Hollywood Romantic Comedy

Kathrina Glitre

Manchester University Press

Comedy was in reality the most serious genre in Hollywood—in the sense that it reflected, through the comic mode, the deepest moral and social beliefs of American life. The Hollywood romantic comedy's articulation of the ideology of heterosexual love, marriage and desire is far from consistent, and certainly reflects many of the deep-seated anxieties of the cultures which produced it. Hollywood comedy's seriousness lies in its accurate reflection of ordinary American beliefs, the instabilities and excesses of the films. Hollywood romantic comedy not only reflects American ideology but also interrogates and negotiates its contradictions. The couples in the films are extraordinary because they somehow manage to find happiness despite the deepest moral and social beliefs of the American life. Considering this, the chapter explains the ideological implications of the extraordinary status of Hollywood romantic comedy films from three different perspectives: the ideology of romantic love; the structures of romance; and the limitations of the ideal.

Keywords:   comedy, American life, heterosexual love, American belief, marriage

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