onyxlynx: BxW F. Lang & T. von Harbou each reading. (Fritz Lang Thea von Harbou)
[personal profile] onyxlynx
Three from the Atlantic's Romantic Comedy beat:
  • A two year old article referencing a New Yorker piece and taking the "alternate universe" premise to heart (slideshow);
  • Christopher Orr asks "Why are romantic comedies so bad?" (with historic overview and responding video);
    Among the most fundamental obligations of romantic comedy is that there must be an obstacle to nuptial bliss for the budding couple to overcome. And, put simply, such obstacles are getting harder and harder to come by. They used to lie thick on the ground: parental disapproval, difference in social class, a promise made to another. But society has spent decades busily uprooting any impediment to the marriage of true minds. Love is increasingly presumed—perhaps in Hollywood most of all—to transcend class, profession, faith, age, race, gender, and (on occasion) marital status.
  • Blame Hollywood's lack of imagination for crummy rom-coms.  (Partly a response to the preceding article.)
onyxlynx: BxW F. Lang & T. von Harbou each reading. (Fritz Lang Thea von Harbou)
[personal profile] onyxlynx
I like watching people fall in love onscreen so much that I can suspend my disbelief in the contrived situations that occur only in the heightened world of romantic comedies. I have come to enjoy the moment when the male lead, say, slips and falls right on top of the expensive wedding cake. I actually feel robbed when the female lead’s dress doesn’t get torn open at a baseball game while the JumboTron camera is on her. I regard romantic comedies as a subgenre of sci-fi, in which the world operates according to different rules than my regular human world. For me, there is no difference between Ripley from “Alien” and any Katherine Heigl character. They are equally implausible.
--Mindy Kaling, The New Yorker.  

With list of "implausible" female staples of romantic comedy, some of which go all the way back to the silents, although she doesn't mention that (it is a humor piece, after all), several postdating the screwball comedy.  

I had not seen quite so much dominant narrative all in one place.
laughingrat: Buster in a diving suit, from "The Navigator" (Goin to the Moon--Keaton)
[personal profile] laughingrat
I was really happy to see info in the new Criterion newsletter about this! Apparently they've restored the 1925 version, rather than the 1942 re-release that had an added narration track with several scenes cut. For a lot of folks, the narration track is like nails on a blackboard, and it definitely reduces the ambiguity that makes silent comedy so interesting and funny. This blurb talks a little about the restoration and has info about a NYC screening during the New York Film Festival.
sibyllevance: (Default)
[personal profile] sibyllevance
Screwball comedies absolutely own my heart. I've seen a lot but I'm always on the lookout for more. Would you mind listing your favourites here? Chances are I've seen them but just in case :) Here are my favourites:

Love Crazy (1941)
I Love You Again (1940) - I wish those two were more well-known, they're amongst my favourite movies of all time. The Thin Man also has elements of screwball comedy and I really love the series.
My Man Godfrey (1936)
His Girl Friday (1940)
Bringing Up Baby (1938)
It Happened One Night (1934)
The Awful Truth (1937)
Some Like It Hot (1959)
Libeled Lady (1936)
Hands Across the Table (1935)

Also, I'd be interested in finding more funny movies. I really love the Marx Brothers but I'm more for verbal comedy than physical. Do you have anything to recommend (besides I Love Lucy which I know well)?


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