26 May 2014

ROM COM RULES - Educating Rita

Films have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas?  More than just being romantic and having comedy, a Rom Com follows a strict formula and a set of rules.

Educating Rita, the story of an alcoholic academic and his an open university student he tutors.

The following analysis may contain spoilers for

Educating Rita (1983)

RULE #1 - The Characters

A:  The Couple - Susan "Rita" White & Dr Frank Bryant, but never really a couple.
i.  Balance - A lot of shared time.
ii.  Opposites in Attitude/Behaviour - She's full of life, he's a drunk that doesn't care any more.
iii.  Opposites in Life - She's from a lower class, he's an academic.
iv.  Occupations/free time involving Romance or the Media - He used to be a poet.

B:  The Best Friend/Confidant - Rita has a bunch of friends at the University, but Trish is the closest to a confident.  Trish and Rita don't really share much until Trish's suicide attempt.  Frank doesn't really seem to have friends.  Brian is the closest and he only hangs around because he's shagging Julia.

C:  The Third Person - Rita is married to Denny, Frank lives with Julia.  Before there's anything Frank asks Rita if she loves Denny but she only refers to the fact that Denny looks at her wanting the girl he married back.  Eventually she leaves Denny, but later Frank accuses her of being interested in Tiger.  Julia is having an affair with Brian but stays (for the bulk of the film) with Frank to try to help him get over his drinking problem.

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

No nudity.

RULE #3 - The Meet-Cute

They meet when she turns up for private tutorials from him.  The door doesn't work properly, that's kind of cute.

RULE #4 - Circumstances

There are no real circumstances keeping them apart.  Both are in relationships but unhappy ones.  There's no real suggestion that they have any tutor-student relationship qualms.

RULE #5 - Realisation of Love

Doesn't seem to have a moment.

RULE #6 - The Break-Up

A:  Reason - Well no real break-up.  His drinking does cause problems.
B:  Event - No real event.
C:  Humiliation - There's certainly a point where he, while drunk, repeats things she's said to a group of students which she overhears but she doesn't really get upset or humiliated by it.
E:  Turmoil - They both suffer turmoil.

RULE #7 - Separated Forever

He is sent to Australia for 2 years.  They have a moment at the airport and she leaves.

RULE #8 - Redemption

There's no real break-up so no need for redemption.

RULE #9 - Happily Ever After

He is sent to Australia for 2 years.  They have a moment at the airport and she leaves.

RULE #10 - Sequels

No sequel.


  • Rules that are followed in this film:  1A; 1C; 2; 6E; 10.
  • Rules that are partially followed in this film:  1B; 3; 6C; 6D; 7.
  • Rules that are not followed in this film:  4; 5; 8; 6A; 6B; 9.
Remember do the survey to determine the fourth genre to be tested.
~ DUG.


  1. I left a comment. Or thought I did. No time to write it again. Bah humbug.

    1. Can't find any evidence of it. Sometimes the internet is just sucky.