Love stories have always been at the heart of French cinema, but romantic comedies have, until recently, been absent from it. In 2001, the global success of Amelie catalysed a major development in the Western world's second-largest film industry: the appropriation of the 'Hollywood' romantic comedy genre (or Rom-Com a l'Americaine). In From France with Love, Mary Harrod explores this contemporary phenomenon, examining both local hits and films with international status. Using socio-cultural data, box-office figures and analysis of critical reception, she reveals the ways in which these films mirror shifting attitudes towards gender roles within French society, as well as the increasingly important interrelation between French national cinema and transnational filmmaking paradigms.
1 Romantic Comedy – and its Discontents
2 Romance Today
3 Gendered Identities in Love
4 Family Affairs
5 Genre, Style and Transnationalism
Concluding Remarks: Rom-Com into the 2010s
French rom-coms 1990–2010 with Box-Office Admissions
Mary Harrod is Assistant Professor in French Studies at the University of Warwick. She is co-editor of the collection The Europeanness of European Cinema: Identity, Meaning, Globalization (I.B.Tauris, 2015) and has published book chapters and journal articles in the areas of European andUS cinemas and television, with a focus on gender studies, transnational cultural exchange, language and the relationship between aesthetics, spectatorial engagement and ideology.
'Mary Harrod's investigation of the French rom-com over the past two decades is a tour de force. In her unlayering of the complexities of contemporary socio-sexual life as revealed in the rom-com, she clearly delineates the French specificities of this most transnational of genres. Not only does she demonstrate how the rom-com provides an accurate social barometer of human relationships in contemporary France, in so doing she also makes clear the relevance of an academic study of this much neglected genre which speaks to the social culture of its time around such challenging issues as love, marriage, divorce, parenthood, gender and queer relations, and the impact of new technologies and legislation on human connections.'
Professor Susan Hayward, Modern Languages Department, University of Exeter
'Mary Harrod’s wide-ranging survey brings out the many contradictions and tensions of the contemporary French rom-com. With its focus on shifting gender roles, the importance of the family unit, and the relationship with the US rom-com, this book is essential for an understanding of popular French cinema.'
Phil Powrie, Professor of Cinema Studies, University of Surrey
‘Harrod’s groundbreaking book puts French romantic screen comedy into stimulating analysis, making a compelling case that this popular genre is vital to understanding France’s recent filmmaking.’
Tim Palmer, Professor of Film Studies at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, and author of Brutal Intimacy: Analyzing Contemporary French Cinema (2011) and Irreversible (2015)
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd
Series: International Library of the Moving ImageHardback
Publication Date: 29 May 2015
Number of Pages: 304