Date of Completion


Degree Type

Honors Thesis


Film and Television Production (PROD)

First Advisor

Charles Howard


The genre of the romantic comedy has been around for as long as humans have been telling stories. Love, a uniquely human experience, is something we don’t fully understand, which can make for great storytelling fodder. The first popular romantic comedies were Shakespearian comedies, built around the idea of two people meeting and quickly running into a roadblock (or a number of roadblocks) that keeps them apart. This main idea, of following the story of two character’s relationship, has been a staple of storytelling for centuries. We have seen these tropes in Shakespeare, in novels from the likes of Jane Austen (which some of the most popular romantic comedy films are based off of), in musical theater, and in musicals and romantic films of early cinema. These themes of love, soulmates, and finding a life companion have been seen for decades throughout time. This paper will explore three different films from the more recent eras of the genre: When Harry Met Sally, Bridget Jones’ Diary, and The Big Sick. Each of these films represent a different decade, and we will be able to analyze the cultural impact of these films and how they have influenced the genre over a span of thirty years.