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  • Writer's pictureRKPROST

Attitudes Toward Romcoms

One is more comfortable with subjects, events, or people they experienced before. Stanley Cavell points out Bringing Up Baby is farcical, which either generates a positive or negative response in its viewers. One’s opinion toward a film is a result of their knowledge, culture, preferences, and experiences.

Using other familiar people or situations as allusions help the audience understand a scene better. One cannot relate to the scene if they do not understand the allusion. Cavell wondered, which allusion Grant referenced in the jail-house scene, “She’s making all this up out of old motion pictures” (Cavell 129). Cavell states this line from the film, “immediately confesses the nature of movies” where the director recycles ideas from previous movies, “makes a certain kind of movie; or: a director works within, or works to discover, a maze of kinships” (Cavell 130). Stories and techniques get reused, but directors revise and evolve them because each of them has a different perspective. Just as directors like Martin Scorsese and Guillermo del Toro inspire me, these people have directors who inspire them.

The audience’s attitudes and preferences toward each aspect of a film impact their critique of it. Cavell states, “Criticism comes down to a matter of personal attachment” (Cavell 130). The question of whether or not someone likes a film comes down to their relationship with it. One is more likely to have negative expectations for a movie and may scrutinize some of its flaws because they have a personal attachment to disliking the actors or director, for example. The protagonist of the story questions, “How have I got into this relation, and why do I stay in it” (Cavell 130)? Through watching the film, the audience simultaneously asks and answers the same questions for themselves, which in turn offers a more in-depth explanation of why they like or dislike the movie.

People’s personal attachments may fluctuate. One may go from holding animosity toward a director to having more respect for them by coming to some neutral ground. While familiarity drives one’s feeling of content, exposure to new situations, and allusions may change their personal attachments.

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