Wednesday, 22 October 2008

small scale research

hi, i am an a level student studying film studies.
for this term i am having to do a small scale research on an area of my choice in film. i have designed a question in which to sum up what i am researcghing on, by question 'an exploration of whether or not representations in Richard Curtis Romantic Comedies are designed to appeal to a predominatly American Audience?' i plan to refer to three films within my research ' love Actually' Notting Hill' and 'Bridget Jones Diary'. orginaly i wanted to just look at they way in which Britains are represented in the films, looking at the realsim of it, yet when looking at the films i found they often refered to America, whether this was through speech, filming etc. For example in Love Actaully, the charecter Collin flys to AMERICA to find girls. Young Sams love Joanna is going to AMERICA. The Prime minster has a meeting with 'Georgre Bush' (AMERICAN reference)etc. so i began wondering was there a reason for this continous referecne? Is America our target audience?
so far through my reserch i have found people to frequnetly describe Romcoms as 'fairytales', including charecters of a Princess, Prince, Evil Witch etc.yet all ending with happy endings, an example of how unrealistic the charecters are.
i found even the represenation of London itself isnt realistic. for example in Love Actaully the film opens with Heathrow Airport, showing friends, family etc. reuniting, all with happiness. yet this isnt the realism of an airport, what about all the delays? peoplke who dont have anyone to greet them etc. the film returns to heathrow airport again at the end of the film, a chance to redeme a realistic representation yet again only shows happiness!
within Love Actaully, there are many storylines within the one film, i chance to represent a variety of British charecters, we have the idotic charecter Collin- i question is his charecter just a form or entertainment for the audience? we have Natalie, the 'commoner' the Prime Minster a well spoke 'posh' man. etc. yet all the charecters are likeable... but are they realistic? where are the Yobs, old people, tramps etc. all people who are apart of the Britch culture!
i recently read a BBC report of the Premeaire of Love Actaully where it was quoeted that 'Hugh Grant reaveled that he asked Curtis ti make changes to his lines because he was becoming tired of playing the nice men' with Curtis's reply being ' i know he's not a nice guy and if i use him again i will try to be closer to his real charecter'- to me this sugest Curtis is more interested in Hugh Grants needs and desire to be a sterotypical charecter rather then realistic representation?
my three focus films are said to be referecncing claisscal Hollywood, by having that happy ending, and a feel good factor-again reference to America.
i came across an interested quote '...being part of a Us studio structure is essential if you want to play the long game in the movie business' Tim Beuan. i question is it the case that we NEED America in ordee to be a sucess... does this mean we constantly refer to America within our films to make then feel involed? keep them happy in order to gain sucess?
within this research i want to look at Americans views, i am interested into learning what they think Britain and its people are like- whether there opions are based on the films they see.. do they think all British men consists of blue eyes, longish brown hair, slightly cheecky etc ( example based on Hugh Grant).