What exactly is film comedy and what is the basis for its widespread appeal? Film Comedy uses formal, socio-historical and industrial perspectives to answer this question. What, for example, is the basis of the appeal of gross-out comedy in films such as There's Something About Mary and American Pie? What is the relationship between comedy and narrative, from early silent slapstick to the performance of actors such as Steve Martin and Jim Carrey? How has romantic comedy changed, or remained the same, from the 1930s to today? What happens when comedy is put to more serious ends in satire ranging from works produced under communism in Eastern Europe and Cuba to Hollywood features such as Bullworth and Wag the Dog? To what extent is comedy nation-specific? And what is the role of comic relief in Hollywood action movies and black comedy such as American Psycho and Man Bites Dog.
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