The romantic genre
Romance is a genre which has been going since the 1890s. Silent films were the starting point. These
were very short films in black and white which involved two characters falling in love. They would
only last around 7 minutes. Film makers described love films being about desire and sex.
In the 1920s to 50s, romantic films began to portray more
painful love. The story line would involve perhaps two
people who didn’t get on. They would then fall in love more
towards the end.
Over the years, the romantic genre has been toyed with,
trying to make films to suit a wider ranged audience. This is
how more sub-genres of romantic films were gradually
produced. They would mix other genres in with the
romantic genre so films had more variety and suited more
peoples interests. Most romantic films are now of sub-genres rather than just the plain romantic
Rom-coms have been a big hit through the 21st century. It involves comedy within a romantic film.
This appeals greatly to a young audience. I feel romantic comedies also help to suit a male audience
as romantics are typically loves of the women. Looking back at the 1920s – 50s film, I feel that rom-
coms link to how they made romantic films. Two people would normally not realise their love for
each other and perhaps act mean towards one another. Throughout the film, funny incidents would
happen to make them despise each more. Then towards the end, they begin to act nice towards
each other, realising their love for one another. I feel this is now the main plot of any romantic film.
The pair are introduced not together, then at the end, they fall in love.
Even now, film producers are trying to find way to alter rom-coms,
changing the typical story lines. They want to give the audience
something new so they won’t get bored of a repeated plot. I feel 50
first dates is a good example of changing the story line. A boy and girl
meet and fall in love over a drink in an Hawaiian café. However, the
twist comes the next day. The boy goes to see the girl and she has no
idea who he is. The audience experience the girl is suffering from
Anterograde amnesia. She loses memory of every present day and
lives her life the same each day. The man for 50 days continues to
fight for her, trying to help her remember him. Every day, she does
not recognise him. I feel this is a very romantic storyline with lots of
comedy which will attract a range of viewers. The actors used are
very well known actors. This will help to attract audience members who are lovers of these
In this century, romantic films have lost their appeal. Audience members demand sub genres. Rom-
coms, romantic-action, romantic-thriller, etc. It’s so easy to put a romantic touch to any other genre.
All you need are two people who have a love interest. There are still the odd films which have been
made which are just of a romantic genre. The most modern and best example would be ‘The
notebook’ made in 2004.
It involves a very typical romantic story line. A young boy and girl fall
in love and have a summer romance. They are both of different
classes. The girl is a higher class and the boy is of a lower class. This
causes conflict as the girl’s mother wants her to have a wealthy
husband. I feel it very slightly links to the story line of Romeo and
Juliet. They are both in love, but their family and friends feel they
should not be together. They are split apart for years then find each
other again and finally live happily ever after. What makes it so appealing is the fantasy of it all. The
audience want to relate to these characters.
Through the years, technology and new ideas has helped romantic films become more in-depth and
has helped the audience experience the passion more vigorously. For instance, black and white has
changed to colour and the quality has become to drastically better. This helps the audience
experience the moments of the film more intensely. Shot have become more advanced. Shots such
as extreme close ups helps the audience to understand the emotions of characters. They are able to
play with lighting, add weather effects and play with the atmosphere within scenes with more detail.
Film producers now understand more about how lighting can alter the mood of a scene. Calm
lightings with candle light can help with the romance of a film. Background music is also a big player
in this area. It all helps to set the scene.
I have learnt that audience expectations have changed dramatically over time. As new technology
has been introduced, audiences expect film to become more advanced. I feel that romantic films can
appeal to a huge ranged audience. This is due to sub-genres being introduced so more romantic
films will have a different appeal.