Romantic Comedy

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Romantic Comedy

Directed by Elizabeth Sankey

  • United Kingdom 2019; 79 min
  • Original version: English
  • Genre: Documentary


ROMANTIC COMEDY is a feature documentary by British writer, musician and actor Elizabeth Sankey that goes under the surface of our favourite films, seeking to better understand the way we view love, relationships and romance. From IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT to RUNAWAY BRIDE, from Doris Day to Cameron Diaz, and from clumsy meet cutes to rain-soaked declarations of love, these films reflect our experiences and our hearts’ desires.
These films are hugely successful and loved deeply by many, but - being frequently dismissed as guilty pleasures - they have avoided critical analysis. With the help of a chorus of writers, actors and filmmakers including Jessica Barden (END OF THE F*CKING WORLD) and Charlie Lyne (FEAR ITSELF, FISH STORY, LASTING MARKS), and with original songs by her band Summer Camp, Elizabeth embarks on a journey of investigation and self-discovery through a genre that continues to shape our view of the world, and finds that it is just as comforting as it is problematic.

Director's Statement

(...) Today we live in a world where the understanding and place of women, both in cinema and in life more generally, is an urgent and important discussion, the need for which can be seen everywhere. Perhaps an investigation into this conflict within myself could lead to a fuller understanding of the female experience in society, both through cultural analysis and an engagement with reception to female-associated culture? Or discoveries about our relationship with culture on a broader scale, our identities and relationships so informed by the stories we tell?
This is a film about movies that made us, and us who made the movies. It’s about first dates and breakups, gender and identity, life and death - and Hugh Grant.
To make this film, I completely immersed myself in romantic comedies for months on end, from the well-known mainstream Hollywood flicks to more obscure movies from around the world. I tried to find films that reflected the diversity of backgrounds that make up our shared social existence in the 21st century – which given the cultural dominance posed by white, middle-class, heteronormative America, was sometimes harder than I hoped!
As well as directing this film, my band Summer Camp has created a full-length album which further explores these experiences and feelings, and will be released later this year. Some of the songs and instrumentals from that album comprise the soundtrack to the film.



    Elizabeth Sankey