From Hollywood with love : the rise and fall (and rise again) of the romantic comedy

by Meslow, Scott,

Format: Print Book 2022
Availability: Available at 7 Libraries 7 of 8 copies
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An in-depth celebration of the romantic comedy's modern golden era and its role in our culture, tracking the genre from its heyday in the '80s and the '90s, its unfortunate decline in the 2000s, and its explosive reemergence in the age of streaming, featuring exclusive interviews with the directors, writers, and stars of the iconic films that defined the genre.

No Hollywood genre has been more misunderstood--or more unfairly under-appreciated--than the romantic comedy. Funny, charming, and reliably crowd-pleasing, rom-coms were the essential backbone of the Hollywood landscape, launching the careers of many of Hollywood's most talented actors and filmmakers, such as Julia Roberts and Matthew McConaughey, and providing many of the yet limited creative opportunities women had in Hollywood. But despite--or perhaps because of--all that, the rom-com has routinely been overlooked by the Academy Awards or snobbishly dismissed by critics. In From Hollywood with Love, culture writer and GQ contributor Scott Meslow seeks to right this wrong, celebrating and analyzing rom-coms with the appreciative, insightful critical lens they've always deserved.

Beginning with the golden era of the romantic comedy--spanning from the late '80s to the mid-'00s with the breakthrough of films such as When Harry Met Sally--to the rise of streaming and the long-overdue push for diversity setting the course for films such as the groundbreaking, franchise-spawning Crazy Rich Asians, Meslow examines the evolution of the genre through its many iterations, from its establishment of new tropes, the Austen and Shakespeare rewrites, the many love triangles, and even the occasional brave decision to do away with the happily ever after.

Featuring original black-and-white sketches of iconic movie scenes and exclusive interviews with the actors and filmmakers behind our most beloved rom-coms, From Hollywood with Love constructs oral histories of our most celebrated romantic comedies, for an informed and entertaining look at Hollywood's beloved yet most under-appreciated genre.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Meslow, an entertainment writer and film critic, dates the beginning of what he calls the modern romantic-comedy era to 1984, when director Rob Reiner and writer Nora Ephron had lunch together. That led to When Harry Met Sally, which prompted a steady stream of modern rom-coms over the next 20-odd years, until a variety of factors, especially movie studios shifting their focus to "massive, franchise-generating blockbusters," sent the genre into a downward spiral. But fear not: the rom-com didn't really go away, and it certainly isn't dead. It's just different. The films, as Meslow argues convincingly, have followed on the Reiner-Ephron model to become hipper, more ethnically diverse, less dependent on centuries-old stories with modern-day trappings. Also, streaming services like Netflix now offer rom-coms a new home, so they aren't competing directly with the Hollywood blockbusters on the big screen. Meslow tells lots of engaging making-of stories (for example, how Pretty Woman was transformed from a fallen-woman tragedy into a Disney fairy tale), but it's his overarching theme, that romantic comedies are much more than lovey-dovey fluff, that really holds our interest."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Journalist Meslow examines in his breezy debut the last 30 years of romantic comedy films, from 1989's When Harry Met Sally to 2018's To All the Boys I've Loved Before. A chapter on Pretty Woman reveals that it started out as a grittier drama entitled Three Thousand, while in a consideration of Hugh Grant, Meslow writes that the actor "hides the amount of work he puts into his performances under a thick layer of irony." My Big Fat Greek Wedding, meanwhile, was so successful upon its 2002 release because of how "natural and grounded" it was "in an era of rom-coms that were increasingly untethered from reality." Along the way, Meslow makes good points about a lack of diversity in the rom-com world but devotes little space to non-heterosexual film examples, and while the chapters are individually satisfying, they don't build to make a bigger case. Still, romance fans will find plenty to enjoy in this punchy retrospective. Agent: Noah Ballard, Curtis Brown. (Feb.)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Romantic comedy films -- United States -- History and criticism.
Film criticism.
Publisher New York :Dey St.,2022
Edition First edition.
Language English
Description xi, 413 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 385-413).
ISBN 9780063026292
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