THE HERO OF THE ROMANTIC COMEDY
Themale hero is at the heart of the romcom, needing to be a plausible object of desire for the woman, and for the audience. He must be our fantasy and oﬀer the heroine what she lacks. On close inspection, certain elements of the male hero are repeated across the decades, suggesting that maybe the representation of gender in this genre is slow to change, if at all. In
many romantic comedies the hero is a catalyst for the heroine, propelling her into a journey involving diﬃcult lessons and emotional growth, with the ultimate reward of future mutual happiness, as in It Happened One Night. Commonly the hero is the adversary for the heroine, challenging
her values and even her lifestyle, yet the conﬂict is inevitably founded on a mutual attraction, as is evident in ﬁlms such as the sex comedies.