13 Jan 2014

ROM COM RULES - Roman Holiday

The Princess of an unnamed European country runs away one night while visiting Roman and finds love.  It has comedy.  It has romance.  Does it follow The RomCom Rules?


The following analysis may contain spoilers.

RULE #1 - The Characters

A:  The Couple - Joe Bradley & Princess Ann
i -   Balance - There is balance.
ii -  Opposites in Attitude/Behaviour - Her:  Repressed, naive, can cook;  Him:   Slob, street smart, can't cook.
iii - Opposites in Life - She's a Princess, he's a reporter trying to get a story about the Princess.
iv - Occupations/free time involving Romance or the Media - I said, he's a reporter.

B: The Best Friend/Confidant  - Irving Radovich
i - Ugly - non handsome, bearded.
ii - Wacky - mainly through Joe knocking him over and spilling stuff on him.
iii - Sleazy - glamour photographer, beautiful girlfriend.

RULE #2 - There Won't Be T&A

Obviously, the era and type of film also adds to the lack of nudity.
Whilst tired and confused she asked him to help her get undressed.
 He started to, but felt better of it and stopped.  A female cleaner does walk in on her in the bathroom wearing just a towel.  Far more acceptable than him accidentally walking in on her.

RULE #3 - The Meet-Cute

He finds her asleep in the street, but doesn't know who she is.  If that's a meet cute anything can be, the circumstance of not knowing each other's identities might count.  It doesn't really matter, though, as they don't get together any way.

RULE #4 - Circumstances

Circumstance don't keep them apart during the film, but rather at the ending does.

RULE #5 - Realisation of Love

There did not seem to be any realisation of love until the kiss near the end, he was plotting his story up until that point and immediately after the kiss she had the shock of realisation.

RULE #6 - The Break-Up

No break-up, rather Ann returned to her royal life.

RULE #7 - Separated Forever

Literally true in this case, as stated above, she returns to her role as Princess and he does nothing to stop her.

RULE #8 - Redemption

There was no real reason for redemption as there was no "crime" to cause them to split, however, after the split Joe turns up at the press conference and Ann realises that he had been lying to her and that she had the potential to be exposed, the following occured at this time:
A: Giving up Something Dear - Money and a story.  Irving also gave up his pictures.
D: The Romantic Gesture - No embarrassing speeches, but rather the pair spoke to each other under the guise of speaking to a group.

RULE #9 - Happily Ever After

The film doesn't have a happily ever after, but a bittersweet separation.

RULE #10 - Sequels

Actual - Although it has no "happily ever after" to be undermined by a sequel, the bittersweet ending probably would be.  There have been a number of remakes or imitations of the film, however.

Spiritual - Peck and Hepburn both appear in other Romantic Comedies.


Rules followed in this film:  1A; 1B i, ii, iii; 2; 5; 10.
Rules partially followed in this film:  3; 4; 6; 7; 8.
Rules not applicable to this film:  1B iv, v; 1C.
Rules not followed in this film:  9.

Although it contains elements of the Rom Com Rules and follows or partially some, I'm inclined to say that it's a Romantic Comedy but not a Rom Com (as per the definition in The RomCom Rules post).  YMMV.

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