Comic negotiations
in The secret life of romantic comedy
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This chapter is devoted to two films directed by two of the most prestigious figures in the history of Hollywood comedy: Ernst Lubitsch and Billy Wilder. Lubitsch's To Be or Not to Be became part of the canon as one of the most brilliant comedies in the history of Hollywood in so far as its romantic comedy elements remained invisible. Wilder's Kiss Me, Stupid was almost universally rejected because its satire was too base, too obscene, too vulgar, or because its satirical view of love, sex and marriage was too hard to take. The chapter argues that the study of the two films from the point of view of romantic comedy would help to change dominant views of what the genre has been or should be. It is devoted to cases of texts in which romantic comedy interacts with other comic subgenres, such as marriage comedy, satire, and comedian comedy.


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