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American Postfeminist CinemaWomen, Romance and Contemporary Culture$
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Michele Schreiber

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780748693368

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748693368.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

. ‘Both Glad and Sorry’

. ‘Both Glad and Sorry’

Romance Cycles and Women’s Politics

(p.27) 1. ‘Both Glad and Sorry’
American Postfeminist Cinema

Michele Schreiber

Edinburgh University Press

Chapter One puts the postfeminist romance cycle into historical context by examining how it both follows, and deviates from, its predecessors: the classical romance film, and the feminist romance film. This comparison sheds light on how romance’s structural and discursive traits operate in three films from different historical periods, and the degree of interchange between these conventions and the representation of women’s politics. The 1940 film Kitty Foyle (Wood) maintains a precarious balancing act between its commentary on the relationship between women’s rights, their professional aspirations and romantic relationships, keeping its political content largely within the boundaries of a conventional romance structure. The 1978 feminist romance film An UnMarried Woman(Mazursky) is more contemplative and exploratory in both politics and style. The 2008 postfeminist romance film 27 Dresses (Fletcher) combines structural, discursive, and stylistic elements from the classic and feminist romances while reflecting the anxiety surrounding women’s changing social and political status over the last 30 years. Outlining the terrain of the romance film in these different periods of Hollywood cinema is an excellent starting point for gaining a historically nuanced understanding of the origins and operations of the postfeminist romance cycle.

Keywords:   film, women’s history, romance, women’s politics, feminism, postfeminism

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