Prepare to swoon, ugly cry, laugh, and fall in love with this officially licensed exploration of the impact and legacy of one of film's most beloved genres from Turner Classic Movies: the rom-com.
Romantic comedies have had an incredible influence on popular culture, shaping everything from how we think of relationships to fashion. Often swept aside in film history, these movies are thought of as pure comfort viewing. Although they certainly provide those fuzzy feelings, they have also had a significant artistic influence and cultural impact. Spanning decades of romantic comedies—from movies of the 1930s such as It Happened One Night and the rom com craze of the 80s and 90s includingWhen Harry Met Sally…all the way to contemporary hits like Crazy Rich Asians, and everything in between—Falling in Love at the Movies will make you fall in love (all over again) with romantic comedies.
Esther Zuckerman—accomplished entertainment journalist and member of the New York Film Critic’s Circle—takes readers on a journey through the rom-com. She examines the psychological aspects that make us so drawn to these types of films, diving deep into the key auteurs—from Preston Sturges to James L. Brooks to Nora Ephron and beyond—who both created and subverted the canon. These directors, actors, and writers shaped the genre, establishing and also busting traditional pillars and tenets of these movies such as the “Perfect Pair” or “The Man in Crisis” and “The High Maintenance Woman.” Featuring full-color images from the films throughout, along the way Zuckerman takes detours, explores iconic lines of dialogue (Who could forget Julia Roberts' “I’m also just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her” iconic moment from Notting Hill?) to memorable scenes (the magical moments at the Empire State Building in An Affair to Remember and Sleepless in Seattle) and weaves in interviews of artists and romantic comedy fanatics in the industry.
Looking beyond the traditional rom-com, Zuckerman digs into the nooks and crannies, the films that buck the trend of "happily ever after," the ones that think beyond heteronormative narratives, and the indies that kept the rom-com alive outside of the studio system, to offer a more comprehensive story of the rom-com than has ever been seen before—and one that you’re bound to love. How’s that for a happy ending?
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