[[quoteright:200:[[VisualPun http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screwball_7952.jpg]]]]

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

The Screwball Comedy 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.

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

* ''Film/TheAwfulTruth''
* ''Film/BachelorMother''
* ''Film/BallOfFire''
* ''Film/BringingUpBaby''
* ''Film/{{Carefree}}''
* ''Film/TheDevilAndMissJones''
* ''Film/EasyLiving''
* ''Film/FoursACrowd''
* ''Film/TheGayDivorcee''
* ''Film/HandsAcrossTheTable''
* ''Film/HisGirlFriday'' (A remake of the play/movie ''Film/TheFrontPage'')
* ''Film/{{Holiday}}''
* ''Film/ItHappenedOneNight''
* ''Film/ItsAWonderfulWorld''
* ''Film/ItsLoveImAfter''
* ''It Started with Eve''
* ''Film/TheLadyEve''
* ''Film/LibeledLady''
* ''Film/LoveBeforeBreakfast''
* ''Film/TheMadMissManton''
* ''Film/TheMajorAndTheMinor''
* ''Film/{{Midnight|1939}}''
* ''Film/TheMoreTheMerrier''
* ''[[Film/MrAndMrsSmith1941 Mr. and Mrs. Smith]]'' (1941)
* ''Film/MrDeedsGoesToTown''
* ''Film/MyFavoriteWife''
* ''Film/MyManGodfrey''
* ''Film/NothingSacred''
* ''Film/ThePalmBeachStory''
* ''Film/ThePhiladelphiaStory''
* ''Film/ShallWeDance''
* ''Film/StandIn''
* ''Film/TheodoraGoesWild''
* ''Film/ThirdFingerLeftHand''
* ''Film/ToBeOrNotToBe''
* ''Film/TopHat''
* ''Film/{{Topper}}'', followed by two sequels. Based on two novels by Thorne Smith, who also wrote the book on which ''Film/IMarriedAWitch'' is based.
* ''Film/TrueConfession''
* ''Film/TwentiethCentury''
* ''Theatre/YouCantTakeItWithYou''

!!Later and modern examples of screwball comedy include:
* ''Film/UnfaithfullyYours''
* ''Film/IWasAMaleWarBride''[[/index]]
* ''Monkey Business'': the Cary Grant/Marilyn Monroe one, not the Creator/MarxBrothers one.
* [[index]] ''Film/TheSevenYearItch''
* ''Film/SomeLikeItHot''
* ''Film/SpringDreams'': A Japanese version of the format from 1960, with a blustering oaf of a dad, three addle-minded children with complicated love lives, a secretary who makes an AnguishedDeclarationOfLove, bumbling mobsters...
* ''Film/OneTwoThree''
* ''[[Film/KissMeStupid Kiss Me, Stupid]]''
* ''Man's Favorite Sport?''
* ''Film/TheProposal'': An uptight woman pretends that she is going to marry her relaxed male assistant.
* ''Film/WhatsUpDoc'': Peter Bogdanovich's {{homage}} to the genre.[[/index]]
* ''Switching Channels'': A remake of ''Film/HisGirlFriday'' (which was a remake of ''Film/TheFrontPage'').
* ''Film/ASongIsBorn'': A 1948 remake of ''Ball of Fire''.
* [[index]] ''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: With the help of a ServileSnarker valet, a FunPersonified LonelyRichKid being pushed into a stuffy ArrangedMarriage finds true love with a working-class woman who loves him for himself.
* ''Theatre/{{Oscar}}''
* ''Film/DateNight''
* ''Film/AfterHours'' and ''SomethingWild'' can be seen as darkly [[PostModernism postmodern]] '80s variations of the genre.
* ''Series/GimmeGimmeGimme'' is a non-romantic example (mostly because the male character is homosexual) but has many moments of the two main characters having to BreakTheHaughty out of the other. The male character is a snobbish middle-class struggling actor, and the female character is an under-class ugly FagHag, and the two of them fight over attractive men.
* ''Film/RunawayBride''
* Conversely, the 1928 silent Marion Davies comedy ''The Patsy'' can be regarded as a sort of very early prototype for the genre.[[/index]]
* ''Ticktock'', a ''horror novel'' by Creator/DeanKoontz, is deliberately written as a Screwball Comedy.
* [[index]] ''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''[[/index]]
* Creator/JohnBelushi co-wrote an unproduced screenplay called ''Noble Rot'', a GenreThrowback to the Screwball Comedies of TheThirties.
* 1987 Creator/{{Madonna}} flick ''Film/WhosThatGirl'' draws heavily from the genre, right down to to the big cat riffing ''Bringing Up Baby'' 20 years before ''Harold and Kumar''.
* ''Film/TheRockyHorrorPictureShow'' and its [[Film/TheRockyHorrorPictureShowLetsDoTheTimeWarpAgain remake]] feature a straight-laced couple being seduced by a transsexual, alien scientist.
* The manga and its anime adaptation ''Manga/MaisonIkkoku'' by Creator/RumikoTakahashi features a college student infatuated with a sweet-tempered, yet widowed boarding house manager, while having to put up with the madcap tenants. It's like if Creator/HowardHawks created a manga turned into an anime.