Nora Ephron and Romantic Comedies Research Paper

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On the contrary, "You Have Got Mail" is a new style of comedy movie that involves romance in a much open manner that it could not attract all age groups.

Key Features of New Comedy

Few traits of new comedy are as follows:

It revolves more around a boy and a girl and their love story

It involves a lot of physical relationship between male and female ( Richmond )

Related with love, desire and money

The comedy involves many subjects that were not considered as appropriate to be discussed openly in the past like homosexuality (Duralde).

Sex related jokes have become an integral part of comedy

Sex is also involved in today's concept of comedy

Destructive Impacts of Comedy

Comedy has always been a source of entertainment for every individual of all fields of life. It is a means to relax and with its involvement in Hollywood movies, number of cinemagoers of all age groups increased drastically as it served as a means to cater all age groups at the same time. It managed to take a place the age groups, even over 70-years-later. Despite of the entertainment it has managed to provide over the past few decades, it has been a cause of destruction in a number of ways. The destructive impacts of comedy are as follows:

Firstly, the style of comedy is quiet bold these days. There are no censor boards, children are exposed to this world of cinema at a very early age and as a result, moral destruction is at its peak in today's world. Boldness in comedy is prevalent to the extent, that comics and cartoon characters are playing a role in spreading obscenity by cracking cheap jokes. These characters are usually a source of inspiration for children and the negatives vibes are being spread in the society because of the open and bold ideas generated through these sources of entertainment.

Comedy is being treated as a fight between the powerless youth and the societal set up that has been playing a key role in placing obstacles in their dreams and ambitions. Youth is believed to be deprived of social authority in today's world and as a result of which they are left with the option to use dramatic irony to aggravate laughter. This seems to show their frustration which in turn gives rise to negativity in the society.

Mockery is a type of comedy that is being practiced on a large scale not only in Hollywood but also at television level. This creates negativity about famous public figures and ruins their image.

Mockery and political irony use sarcastic comedy to describe individuals or social institutions as silly, corrupt or unethical, thus isolating their audience from the purpose of humor.

In the same way, scatological humor, sexual humor, and race humor generate comedy by disrespecting social conventions. It for sure causes destruction of values and morals in the society. With the increased freedom of media across the globe, these practices have become quite common and are a cause of moral destruction on a large scale (Ulea ).

Another common practice in comedy is the mockery of upper class. It has multiple disadvantages. It not only ruins the image of individuals belonging to the particular class but also increases the gap between the affluent and the poor.

Ephron contemporary attitudes

Ephron has been very real in her writing. She did not tend to write about imaginary characters, never showed women as an ideal character with no fantasies and desires. In turn, she wrote about true women, her sexual desires, her wishes that might seem inappropriate to people in general, the desires she hides from the surrounding world. In her movie, "You have got mail," the leading character is shown as a modern girl just pondering aimlessly to find what she wants from life. She is involved with two people at a time, without any feeling of guilt about her character. She showed women as complicated and difficult as men in her movies. She never showed women as a perfect marriage material who is worried about the family and children. In her movie, "You have got mail," the end of the movie shows that kiss only marks the beginning of a new relationship, nothing else. Kathleen is just pondering aimlessly to find what she wants from life. She has no desire of marriage and children. She is shown as women who are involved in her business like men. The character of Kathleen clearly explains Ephron's contemporary attitude.
Her views about gender and especially about today's women are evident from the movies directed by her.

From Ephron's perspective, marriage is like handcuffs. It bounds women. In her movie, "You have got mail," the end of the movie shows that kiss only marks the beginning of a new relationship, nothing else. This shows her idea about marriage. The female characters of the movies directed by Ephron are shown as free independent women who work according to their will and are not in favor of bounding themselves with family and marriage. This shows that Ephron does not believe in the institution of marriage. From her point-of-view, union does not necessarily require marriage. Most of her movies portray the idea that any human being, whether it's a boy or a girl does not need to bound themselves in a loveless marriage. She negated the idea of bounding yourself in a relationship that has become a burden and a cause of hindrance in a person's aspirations, desires and hopes. She believes in freedom.

Another important contemporary attitude of Ephron is that despite of the fact that she is a Jewish; the characters of her movies do not seem to be involved or engaged with culture. This can be considered a positive aspect of her character as it portrays that she is unbiased and open minded women who does not believe in racism. She seems to have respect for all cultures and religions and she tends to avoid any debate in this aspect. On the contrary, many people believe that if any individual lacks the concern for religion, he tends to be unsure about his personal identity. They cannot be as care free as their friends and cannot go with the flow. At some point of time, such people become so unsure about their beliefs and ideas that they have to take a final decision in the end. But if we consider from the perspective of film making only, this attitude is remarkable. It will portray unbiased attitude which in turn will be able to grab the attention of large number of audience.

Sex is another significant aspect of Ephron's direction. She has associated women's needs and desires with sexuality. In her movie, "You have got mail," the leading character is shown as a modern girl just pondering aimlessly to find what she wants from life. She is involved with two people at a time, without any feeling of guilt about her character. This shows the modern approach of Ephron about relationships. In the end of the movie shows that kiss only marks the beginning of a new relationship, nothing else. All these examples clearly indicate the modern approach of Ephron towards a physical relationship. From Ephron's perspective, both people involved in any relationship should be sure about each other. They must have a free will to make decisions about themselves. Bounding oneself in a forceful marriage is condemned in Ephron's directed piece of art. For being happy with someone, one must attain self-awareness first. Acknowledging one's own desires and wants is necessary to lead a happy life with someone else. Otherwise it will result in a bad relationship with a wrong person. Thus, Ephron portrays free and independent women in her movies, who is less conscious about marriage and children, has a free will; she is independent, in search of her dreams, is free from the bond of marriage and has the whole world to explore. In fact, it would be right to say that Ephron was among those pioneers who challenged and confronted the ingrained male dominated setup of the industry. She was among the pioneers who introduced the idea of free and independent women in the era when society was chiefly dominated by men across the globe (Kaufman).


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Duralde, Alonso. "Where the Gays Are: A Quick Look at the Queerest Movies the Season Has to Offer. (Summer Movie Special)." The Advocate (the national gay & lesbian newsmagazine) (2002): 33-44.

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Ulea, V. . A Concept….....

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