Romantic comedy on the dark side
in The secret life of romantic comedy
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This chapter discusses two films, Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window and Woody Allen's Crimes and Misdemeanors, and attempts to move beyond the borders of comedy. It examines what happens when romantic comedy is combined with a non-comic genre such as the thriller. The chapter suggests ways in which the analysis of the proximity between apparently incompatible genres can alter our perception of films and our interpretation of the cultural discourses which they articulate. The chapter looks at Rear Window, as a text in which this genre interacts with another one producing relevant consequences for our understanding of the film. The film's romance story is introduced as a threat, a dark shadow in the protagonist's life. The pessimism of the ideological discourses, the aggressiveness and precariousness of humour in Crimes and Misdemeanors and the distance between the social space and the comic space separate the film from romantic comedy.

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