Explores gender roles through the Hollywood romantic comedy, examining what has changed, and what hasn't changed, in male-female relationships.
Bound to Bond: Gender, Genre, and the Hollywood Romantic Comedy looks at gender roles in a unique way--by examining what the last thirty years of romantic comedy films have argued, reflected, and implied. Mark Rubinfeld contends that, essentially, we are what we see, and by identifying four basic plots of the genre, representing four basic love stories, he studies the implications of filmic depictions of male/female relationships. Cultural changes that have transformed our society since 1970 are seen here as we see them on the silver screen, and the author analyzes notable examples of the genre with a rigorous sociological perspective.
What he reveals may be surprising: during the seventies and, to an extent, the early eighties, the plot conventions of Hollywood romantic comedy seemed to challenge, rather than reinforce, existing gender stereotypes. Later, however--during what should have been a more enlightened time--the genre reversed course, reverting to more traditional types for men and women alike.