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Nowadays, the film industry is dominated by a variety of different genres these include; action, Romantic comedy, Horror as well as the more creative animated films and various franchise movies such as Indiana Jones and Harry Potter.
The film industry is now one of the biggest money making businesses showing how far Film has come since especially the 1920;s. This is highlighted with the gross interest of 2008’s film Batman; The Dark Knight which had a worldwide gross interest of $ 1,001,842,429 ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_highest-grossing_films ) contrasting with Robin Hood in 1922 which made a total of $2,500,000
Indiana Jones and the last Crusade Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix He’s Just Not That Into You
Introduction to the Romcom genre Romcom/ Romantic comedy refers to films that are based on romance and love but still has a comic feel to it. These films generally show the journey of two people and the many funny obstacles they have to overcome to finally end up together. However, the characters that fall in love may not both be main characters as there is usually another love interest involved in the film. These films are generally based on the idea of true love and usually involve adult actors as well as often being unrealistic. Some examples of Romcom films are the Bridget Jones diary franchise (2001 and 2004), He’s just not that into you (2009) and What women want (2000)
Sub Genre- Teen Romcom The genre of Romcom can also be split into a sub genre of teen Romcom. This is my chosen genre of film as it would be easier to find teenage actors instead of adults as well as having access to more suitable environments and settings. Teenage Romcom is similar to the Romcom genre however, it involves a younger cast and is based on problems that the younger generation would have when it comes to love and crushes. These Romcom’s would also be set in environments such as school where teenagers would often be situated. Some examples of Teen Romcom’s are the American Pie franchise, A Cinderella story (2004), It’s a Boy Girl thing (2006) and She’s The Man (2006)
“ A Cinderella Story” http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/1808503970/trailer Analysing existing Romcoms
Analysis of A Cinderella story trailer and plot Plot - The film is based on a modern remake of the film Cinderella. As the main character is seen as the “Geek” at school and her step mother and step sisters are always trying to stop her from having a good time, instead the main character Sam has to work all the time. Until she meets her Prince Charming, the film is all about the couples fight to be together. This is therefore a typical teenage Romcom as it involves young adults who are both trying to overcome certain problems to end up together. Non diegetic and Diegetic music/voiceovers - There is a male voiceover throughout most of the trailer to narrate what is going on. This gives the trailer a fairytale feel. There is also non diegetic light and romantic music in the background when talking about the main character, Sam. However, this changes into darker, harsher music when a clip of the characters wicked stepmother is on the trailer. The music also becomes very upbeat and comical when talking about the main characters step sisters highlighting their somewhat “Dumb” approach. The non diegetic music clearly complements the narrator and the clips that are being shown, sometimes this music will quickly cut off when a seemingly funny part of the trailer is coming up emphasising the scene. The ending music is also one of the main actors (Hilary Duff) actual single and as it is quite a feminine track this indicates the film is also targeted at females. Throughout the trailer there is also a lot of Diegetic sounds such as various scenes from the movie
Analysis of A Cinderella story trailer and plot (2) Mise en scene - The film is set in a conventional high school setting as well the general Prom idea which is quite over the top involving lots of lights and decorations. There is also some of the scenes set in the main characters home and working place showing her true horrible lifestyle. Lighting - A use of Chiaroscuro lighting which is usually bright to emphasise the comical side to the Romcom, as well as some dark settings to highlight that it is a romantic scene. Editing - The pace of the trailer is generally quite slow although there is a lot of cuts such as dissolve, which gives the effect of turning a page indicating that it is a remake of a fairytale.
Analysing screen shots from “A Cinderella story”
This frame shows the stereotypical ending of a teenage Romcom, as it has a very unrealistic, fairytale feel to it for example with the perfect setting and costumes.
The characters are also situated in the centre of the shot highlighting that they are the main focus and maybe that they are also in their own little world.
The characters being so close together and sharing eye contact also shows that they are in love. The medium camera angle suggests that they are now seen as equal.
This shot emphasises that the film is also a comedy mainly due to the characters clothing and his quite geeky appearance. As the character is wearing a straw hat, glasses and a bright shirt (quite a humorous appearance.
The main character (Hilary Duff) is also wearing quite a funny expression highlighting her friends strange and unique image choice
The use of bright lighting also gives the shot a light hearted feel therefore complementing the Romcom genre
This shot indicates the typical features found in Romcom’s as the use of cheerleading uniform connotes a bad representation of these characters, as cheerleaders are often the nasty people in Romcom’s and it also highlights that the film is in the teen Romcom genre as it involves teenage characters.
The slight use of a high camera angle on the characters also emphasises this point as they seem inferior even though they like to think they themselves are better
The use of bright/ chiaroscuro lighting in this scene gives a comic feel and is a stereotypical feature found in Romantic comedies.
The use of costume, setting and bright stereotypical girly colours creates a comical image as adults usually don’t wear such outrageous clothing.
There is a low angle used on this character signifying that she is a member of authority in the main characters eyes. It also suggests that she is a powerful character who determines a lot in the film.
The characters confident and upright posture also emphasises this point and also suggests that she is the villain with her confident, ridiculous and harsh appearance
“ She’s The Man” http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/1808762534/trailer
Analysis of “She’s The Man” trailer and plot Plot - The main female character has to stop playing football due to her team not being allowed to play as they are female. This means she decides to take drastic action and disguises herself as her brother so that she is able to go to his university and play football. Whilst there she falls for her room mate who believes she is a guy, this character played by Channing Tatum also likes someone else who fancies the main characters boy character. It’s a massive love square. Non digetic/ diegetic Music - Non diegetic music in the background which is quite fast paced and has a heavy beat. It is very light hearted and sometimes cuts off when a funny part of the trailer is coming up creating a more dramatic feel. There is also a use of a non diegetic voice over which narrates the story making it more clear what is happening. Diegetic- Clips from the movie which complement the voice over of what is happening as random quips.
Analysis of “She’s The Man” trailer and plot (2) Mise en scene - Set in a school, a house (in the main character’s bedroom, so there are a lot of posters), football pitch, café, college dormitory. Which are all typical teenage settings. Lighting - There is a use of chiaroscuro lighting which is a typical convention of Romcoms as it helps set the mood of the scene. The lighting is often very bright also highlighting that it is in the Romcom genre Editing (Cuts, dissolves fade to black, titles + pace) The trailer is quite fast paced and includes a lot of dissolves
Analysing screen shots from “She’s the man”
This shot highlights the comical side to the Romcom especially with the use of costumes (The moustache)
This also shows who the main character is as all attention is on her (Amanda Bynes)
This is also set in an everyday location (salon) which another convention of Romcoms.
This shot helps to emphasise that this is one of the main characters in the film and that he is the ‘Hero’ of the story as he fits the conventional good guy of the story e.g. with his good body he is like the character that all the girls fight for.
This idea is also suggested with the character being placed in the centre of the frame and the slight use of a low angle making him seem quite superior
The use of Mise-en-scene also shows that it is part of the teen Romcom genre as there is posters in the background and it is situated in a dorm room which is a typical teenage setting
This is a typical convention of the Romcom genre to have a happy ending as shown in this shot
The dark lighting emphasises the idea that it is an intimate moment as well as the characters body language and their locked eye contact
This shot has a slight use of low camera angle making the couple seem powerful and superior
This shot shows a typical teenage setting and situation as the characters are all having fun and are shown to be in a dorm room which is a typical setting for teenagers
The main character is also incongruous to the everyday setting as it is very obvious that she is in fact a girl instead of having her preferred identity, this creates a humorous feel to the scene
Propp Propp’s theory can apply strongly to the Romcom genre as there is always very similar characters in every Romcom that helps make the story. These include the hero as well as: The Villain This character is always set out to destroy the life of the main character and is always defeated/ punished in the end The magical Helper This character often assists the hero and helps them in their quest. This character is always by the heroes side and often gives good advice and often takes the role of a friend. False Hero This character takes credit for something the hero has actually done. However, they may not be the main villain.