Love Them, but Get Them to Leave You - Neoliberal Ideals of Love, Romance and Family Life Imprinted on Contemporary US Cinema

82 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2020

Date Written: March 7, 2019

Abstract

Itself a very coarse and in different regions distinctly utilized term, “neoliberalism,” this paper argues, can be described as the prominent ideology in America today. Its significance is based on a distinctly American type of reverence for the economic opportunities of capitalism. As an ideology, neoliberalism transcends the capitalist nature of the market and incorporates important aspects of US identity as well as American notions of liberty and self reliance. Thereby it determines desirable human qualities and presets an appropriate social value system. Today, the Hollywood entertainment industry is by far the most impactful cultural industry on the planet. Their “motion pictures” reach audiences around the globe, their stars are famous all over the world. Just as much as Hollywood is part of the American economy and a staple of its society, it is also a significant mediator of the American self-image. The question then is: how does the neoliberal ideology function within US cinema? As one of Hollywood’s most resilient film genres, the romantic comedy surely is a formidable example of the neoliberal subconscious. This paper will establish comprehensive typologies of neoliberal ideology and Hollywood romantic comedy. These typologies will serve as tools to dissect the contents of a prototypical sample of romantic comedy texts and display specific neoliberal markers. Of course, the results of the analysis rely on interpretation. However, a previously compiled thorough theoretical body testifies to the fact that the interpretations conducted from content analysis are well-founded.

Keywords: Capitalism, Neoliberalism, Economy, Film, Hollywood, Happiness, Ideology, Love, Positivity, Romance, Romantic Comedy, Sex, Society, USA

JEL Classification: Z13,

Suggested Citation

Mentis, Philipp, Love Them, but Get Them to Leave You - Neoliberal Ideals of Love, Romance and Family Life Imprinted on Contemporary US Cinema (March 7, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3399668 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3399668

Philipp Mentis (Contact Author)

University of Freiburg ( email )

Fahnenbergplatz
Freiburg, D-79085
Germany

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