“Elizabeth Sankey provides an intelligent and riveting commentary on the history of American rom-coms in the aptly titled Romantic Comedy, a piercing analysis of the genre's codes and conventions and how they've evolved over the past century.”
“Even if these movies are not your bag, Romantic Comedy will win you over.” – Film Inquiry
Official Seletion: IFFR, SXSW, Sheffield Doc Fest.
In her youth, director Elizabeth Sankey was obsessed by romantic comedies. Films like My Best Friend's Wedding, Runaway Bride and When Harry Met Sally coloured her perception of relationships. It seems obvious that basing your love life on rom-com conventions – the meet-cutes, the public displays of affection, the happy-ever-afters – is a recipe for potential heartbreak, yet we’ve all fallen for them time and time again. Looking back, she now realises that the genre is intrinsically conservative: the protagonists are often white and heterosexual, the story is often misogynistic and over-sentimental, and the gender roles always traditional. Using a large number of clips from well-known and classic films as well as testimony from fellow cinephiles, Sankey delivers a celebration of the rom-com while unpicking its notions of perfection and the romantic ideal. A feminist film for those with a passion for the cinema, Romantic Comedy intelligently muses on ideas of gender, sexuality, race and class representation in one of the world’s most beloved genres.