|Taylor & Francis|
the guardian Sat 07 March 2009
A collection of scholarly essays on "Romantic Comedy in Contemporary Cinema"? You are spoiling us. We see here a variety of approaches to balancing academic heft against a subject matter's apparent frivolity. Numerous contributors are tediously focused on marking the films for the perceived progressiveness of their gender politics. You can't resist, though, a title such as "What a Difference a Gay Makes", and that essay (by Kyle Stevens) is a nice look at gay characters as disruptive or ironic figures in heterosexual comedies. Other good efforts include Annabelle Honess Roe reading the Working Title films (Four Weddings and so on) as a working-out of British feelings about America, and Tamar Jeffers McDonald's very cute name for the new wave of homosocial romances (such as Swingers or The Wedding Crashers): "Homme-com".