Is It All about Love Actually?

Clive Marsh

in Teaching Religion and Film

Published in print August 2008 | ISBN: 9780195335989
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199868940 | DOI:

Series: An American Academy of Religion Book

  Is It All about Love Actually?

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By using the three best‐known films of Richard Curtis as case material (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, and Love Actually), this chapter examines the problems and opportunities in using romantic comedy to teach theology and religion. Using Ed S. Tan and Nico Frijda's recent work on the role of cinematic sentimentality within the “cognitive turn” in film studies and building upon John Lyden's insights into the contemporary religious function of film in the West, the chapter considers the way in which popular cinema explores the theme of love. It shows how the labeling of these films as “sentimental” is misleading and fails to recognize their cultural function as contributions to society's discussion about commendable, loving relationships. Such a function cannot but be of interest to theology and religion and to those who teach in these fields.

Keywords: religion and film; pedagogy; sentimentality; theology and film; theology; romantic comedy; love

Chapter.  5204 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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