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Film / Green Card

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A 1990 romantic comedy film directed by Peter Weir, starring Andie MacDowell and Gérard Depardieu.

Georges (Depardieu), a Frenchman hoping to get a visa into the United States, and Brontë (MacDowell), a brash American woman hoping to get an apartment in a posh Manhattan neighborhood populated mainly by married couples, band together for mutual convenience. The two dislike each other immediately, but with the Immigration authorities closing in, they must pull together to make their marriage act seem believable. As is typical of Romantic Comedies, the two overcome their differences and begin to fall in love, leading to an atypical ending for the format...


This film provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Bittersweet Ending: Atypical for the format and is semi famous for it. Georges' green card application is rejected. With his deportation to France imminent, George says that he'll write her every day, with the same question:
    Georges: When are you coming, cherie?
  • Citizenship Marriage: The whole plot, and Georges' motivation for the scheme—marrying Brontë will allow him to get a green card (U.S. residence permit) and avoid deportation.
  • Hollywood Law: Immigration is not going to come to your house to scope you out. In fact, for Rule of Drama, the movie in general greatly overestimates the difficulty of obtaining a green card in this situation.note 
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  • Marriage Before Romance: Brontë and Georges join in a sham marriage to get a green card to the US and a good apartment. They can't stand each other, and are hunted by the INS, before they realise they love each other.
  • Romantic Fake–Real Turn: Georges and Brontë. They pretend to be in love so he can get a green card, but naturally, they fall in love for real.
  • Single-Issue Landlord: Why Brontë wants in on the scheme. She can only get the apartment she badly wants if she's married.