[[VisualPun http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screwball_7952.jpg]]

[[IThoughtItMeant No, this doesn't mean what you think.]]

The ScrewballComedy is a very strict story form: a comedy film -- usually in black and white, although some were made in color -- in which an uptight, repressed, or [[UptightLovesWild otherwise stiff character gets broken out of his or her shell]] by being [[ManicPixieDreamGirl romantically pursued]] by a {{Cloudcuckoolander}} (or a similar character type). It does ''not'' just mean "zany comedy." ''Film/TheProducers'', 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 RomanticComedy.

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

[[index]]
* ''Film/TheAwfulTruth''
* ''Bachelor Mother''
* ''Film/BallOfFire''
* ''Film/BringingUpBaby''
* ''Dinner at Eight ''
* ''Easy Living''
* ''{{Film/Holiday}}''
* ''Film/ItHappenedOneNight''
* ''It's a Wonderful World''
* ''It Started with Eve''
* ''Film/HisGirlFriday'' (A remake of the play/movie ''TheFrontPage'')
* ''Film/TheLadyEve''
* ''Film/LibeledLady''
* ''Midnight''
* ''Mr. & Mrs. Smith''
* ''Film/MrDeedsGoesToTown''
* ''My Favorite Wife''
* ''Film/MyManGodfrey''
* ''Film/NothingSacred''
* ''Film/ThePalmBeachStory''
* ''Film/ThePhiladelphiaStory''
* ''Theodora Goes Wild''
* ''Film/ToBeOrNotToBe''
* ''Film/TopHat''
* ''Film/{{Topper}}'', followed by two sequels. Based on two novels by Thorne Smith, who also wrote the book on which ''I Married a Witch'' is based.
* ''True Confession''
* ''Film/TwentiethCentury''
* ''Theatre/YouCantTakeItWithYou''

Later and modern examples of screwball comedy include:
* ''Film/UnfaithfullyYours''
* ''Film/IWasAMaleWarBride''
* ''Monkey Business'': the Cary Grant/Marilyn Monroe one, not the MarxBrothers one.
* ''Film/TheSevenYearItch''
* ''Film/SomeLikeItHot''
* ''Film/OneTwoThree''
* ''Man's Favorite Sport?''
* ''Film/WhatsUpDoc'': Peter Bogdanovich's {{homage}} to the genre.
* ''Switching Channels'': A remake of ''HisGirlFriday'' (which as noted above was a remake of ''TheFrontPage'').
* ''Film/TheHudsuckerProxy'': Another homage, written and directed by Creator/TheCoenBrothers
* ''Film/MissPettigrewLivesForADay'': A modern {{pastiche}} of the genre
* ''Film/{{Arthur}}'' is about equal parts Creator/PGWodehouse pastiche and screwball pastiche.
* ''Theatre/{{Oscar}}''
* ''Film/DateNight''
* ''Film/AfterHours'' and ''SomethingWild'' can be seen as darkly [[PostModernism postmodern]] '80s variations of the genre.
* ''Film/RunawayBride''
* Conversely, the 1928 silent Marion Davies comedy ''The Patsy'' can be regarded as a sort of very early prototype for the genre.
* ''Ticktock'', a ''horror novel'' by DeanKoontz, is deliberately written as a ScrewballComedy.
* ''Literature/MyDarkAndFearsomeQueen'' combines Screwball and BlackComedy with fantasy adventure.
* ''Series/DharmaAndGreg''
* ''HouseSitter''
* ''Film/HaroldAndKumarGoToWhiteCastle'' is a non-romantic version, in which uptight, nervous Harold gets broken out of his shell by laid-back Kumar; in other words, if the standard screwball comedy is a parody of the romantic comedy, this one is a parody of a BromanticComedy. [[Film/BringingUpBaby Also, there's a big cat and everything]].
* ''ComicBook/StrangersInParadise''
* Creator/JohnBelushi co-wrote an unproduced screenplay called ''Noble Rot'', a GenreThrowback to the Screwball Comedies of TheThirties.
[[/index]]

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