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Screwball 7952.jpg

No, this doesn't mean what you think.

The Screwball Comedy has a pretty precise definition: a comedy film -- usually in black and white, although some were made in color -- in which an uptight, repressed, or otherwise stiff character gets broken out of his or her shell by being romantically pursued by a Cloudcuckoolander (or a similar character type). It does not just mean "zany comedy." The Producers, say, is not a screwball comedy, although it is screwy, ballsy, and very funny. It is characterized by fast-paced repartee, farcical situations, escapist themes, and plot lines involving courtship and marriage and showing the struggle between economic classes.

In other words, a Parody of a Romantic Comedy.


Classic screwball comedy examples include (period 1934-1944):

Later and modern examples of screwball comedy include:

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