Study Guide

Sabrina Genre

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Romantic Comedy

Sabrina is a romantic comedy. Sure, it has a smidge more emphasis on the "romance" part than the "comedy" part, but still it's a solid mix. It takes the basic Cinderella story, throws in some funny business (like David sitting on the champagne glasses) and et voila: a frothy good-humored film to giggle at and sigh over.

But it's not just your average rom-com, because it's both a throwback to older romantic comedies and way ahead of its time.

Although Sabrina hit the cinemas in 1954, it harkened back a couple of decades to what was a simpler time… but also a wittier time. This Billy Wilder joint takes a page from the screwball comedies of the 1930s and 1940s, which showcased snappy dialogue and older, often divorced protagonists.

But Sabrina was also forward thinking (even as it was mired in such very 1950s social constructs as "women only want to find love" and "when a man is mean to you that's actually a sign that he thinks you're a cutie-pie").

While the older style of rom-coms spent a lot of time mulling over the battle of the sexes, Sabrina focuses on the pleasure of falling in love. It's no wonder that Sabrina could be remade in 1995—a lot of it plays much like a modern romance.

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