Date of Award

Spring 5-8-2020

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


English, Linguistics, and Communication

Department Chair or Program Director

Gary Richards

First Advisor

Adria Goldman

Major or Concentration

Communication and Digital Studies


What can romantic comedies with satirical elements tell us about the romantic comedy genre and romance in general? This senior seminar paper explores two self-reflective films – Isn’t it Romantic (2019) starring Rebel Wilson and Playing it Cool (2014) starring Chris Evans – that simultaneously break and follow this genre’s norms, actively parodying genre conventions and themes. Montemorano’s examination of gender and agency uses a combination of content and comparative analyses in order to study if the gender of main characters impacts how a movie follows or breaks genre conventions, how satire reveals and perpetuates gender and filmic norms, and if characters’ actions and agency could impact viewer perceptions and experience of a film. Montemorano also reflects upon audience reception of romantic comedy media, a consideration of increasing importance as the creation and dissemination of media allows for the spread of social and cultural norms, particularly through increasingly digital methods of communication.