Mental Distress, Romance and Gender in Contemporary Films

Greenberg and Silver Linings Playbook

Authored by: Alison Wilde

The Routledge Companion to Disability and Media

Print publication date:  November  2019
Online publication date:  October  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138884588
eBook ISBN: 9781315716008
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter uses a synthesis of disability studies, mad studies and film studies to investigate two films that focus on mental distress. Taking romantic comedies as a genre that tends to treat romantic love as a key signifier of “normality,” I examine and compare the narrative and visual techniques used in two films that have ostensibly similar narratives, Greenberg and Silver Linings Playbook. Emphasizing the perceived deficits and other personality traits of the main protagonists within their wider social contexts, I address issues of audience, communicative structure, polyphony and the positioning of the voices of those experiencing mental distress.

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