Nigel Mather
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Romantic comedy and new beginnings in 1990s British cinema
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This chapter explores the genre of romantic comedy in relation to British cinema, with particular regard to the emergence of this particular generic form as a high-profile feature of British film production during the 1990s. It considers some of the key critical issues at stake when the romantic and comedic aspects of romantic comedies are filtered through a specifically 'British' aesthetic and cultural perspective. The chapter examines the two most influential films within this particular cycle of British films: Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994) and Notting Hill (1999). It concludes with a discussion of Love Actually, considering the film in terms of its status as a kind of 'ultimate' Richard Curtis/Hugh Grant British romantic comedy, and a film which explores male-female interactions within a London setting, and in the context of Britain's political and social relationships with Europe and America.

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Tears of laughter

Comedy-drama in 1990s British cinema

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