Screwball Comedy Essay

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Screwball comedy attempts to invert these several characteristics of film noir in order to create a more light-hearted approach to filmmaking. Like film noir, screwball comedy is an American genre that became popular during the Great Depression. Its purpose was to instill a feeling of hope within the audience through its romantic storylines. As film noir did, screwball comedy provided an escape for Americans. However, in screwball comedy, they look at the bright side in film noir, the characters are more brooding. Male and female characters play an important role in these genres because gender identities are reconstructed in both. The difference is the screwball female controls the relationship with the screwball male by challenging his masculinity. …show more content…
This action supports her character trope as a spirited and independent woman who thinks for herself. In the film, she dramatically jumps from her father’s yacht to find her husband who lives in New York. She is strong-willed, capable, and resourceful. She is an inspiration to women because she has her own agency. One of the main dichotomies of film noir and screwball comedy are the two equal adversaries, a man and a woman. These films rely on the battle of the sexes. “It’s a sex comedy without the sex” (Renzi 8). They are based on the priorities of the male and female. The male is typically looking for power and a sense of self. The female is generally looking to marry, or get rid of the male lead. Either way it is for her own personal …show more content…
Justice, represented by Marge, prevails at the end of Fargo. Marge has her own agency as she is the chief of police in her home town of Brainerd, Minnesota. Her position as a woman in power is challenged by the film’s antihero, Jerry (William H. Macy). The screwball antihero is generally characterized by his leisurely lifestyle, childishness, and basic frustration, usually with the relationships he has with women (Renzi 9). While Jerry is highly stressed throughout the film, he never works hard. This is his type of leisurely lifestyle. He refuses to put in hard work to gain the power and respect he wants, instead he tries to take a shortcut to make his life easy. His childlike qualities are shown through his tendency to lie. He refuses to be mature and fix his mistakes. His entire fate could have been changed if he had handled himself in a more adult manner. As for his relationship with women, neither of his interactions with Marge or his wife Jean are necessarily successful. He never shows he loves his wife, instead he hires two men to kidnap her so he can gain her father’s money. His relationship with Marge is obviously stressed because of the crimes he commits. Jerry is frustrated by these relationships not because they are women, but because he is flawed himself. The fact that they are women links Fargo to screwball comedy and film

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