Comparison and Contrast Essay: Romantic Comedies

All girls like romantic comedies and all guys need to like this genre because they need to go to the movie theaters together somehow. This statement seems to be very unoriginal, just like romantic comedies. I decided to break this tradition recently by watching Asian movies. They are popular among many people in the US, and still reflect the lifestyle and the mentality which is different from the European or American.

I chose two movies for comparison: Skip-Beat!, or Extravagant Challenge and Nodame Cantabile. These two movies were created on the basis of Japanese manga (or comics), but the first film was produced by a Chinese company. Despite the fact that these movies are different in some aspects from the traditional Hollywood products, they have a lot in common with each other. In addition, they have interesting clichés that are not typical for US movie industry.

The first things that these two movies have in common are the main characters. There are no archetypical Damsels in Distress and Mighty Princes. The main female characters are extremely active, messy and talented. Well, in the beginning they are just too energetic, but not talented. Nodame-chan from Nodame Cantabile studies music in the conservatory. She is absolutely disorganized and prefers to play the piano by ear rather than to read the score. Gong Xi from Skip Beat! wants to become an actress and creates a lot of funny situations on her way to success. The main male characters are horribly reserved, unemotional, perfectionists and simply geniuses. Chiaki-sempai is a talented conductor and Dun He Lian is a famous actor. Of course they are irritated by main female characters, but they fall in love with each other till the end of the movies. It can be surely called one of the most used themes in Asian romantic comedies – the lovers hate each other in the beginning of the story, but they overcome this small problem.

Another similarity of these two movies is that have a common subject – it is art. It is possible to listen to great classical pieces in Nodame Cantabile and Skip Beat! features the plays the characters work at. These two films have a strong educational component, even though they are romantic comedies. This issue breaks the traditional point of view that this genre can not be serious and is worth for nothing but relaxation.

There are some aspects that are not often used in Hollywood movies. The first thing is that it is the female character that falls in love and makes active steps to make friends with the Cold Prince. Male characters are emotionally handicapped, at least in Skip-Beat! and Nodame Cantabile. However, they this phlegmatic behavior does not create an image of a clown, which is very good.

Another peculiarity of these two movies is that the most lascivious gesture there is embracing the girl. The characters do not even kiss; everything is supposed to be imagined after the final phrase “they lived happily ever after”. In comparison to Skip-Beat! and Nodame Cantabile, the biggest part of Hollywood and European romantic comedies need to have age limitations.

The decision to watch these two Asian movies was not a waste of time. Even if these films were different in some aspects from the American cinematic products, they were easy to understand and their peculiarities were interesting to learn.

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