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Film / Is This Love?

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Servo: Or is it just rough sex with Michael Douglas?

'Is This Love' is a 1950s educational short about how to make a bad soap opera know you're ready for love. Apparently.

The film follows the emotional travails of Peggy, a college student with only a year left before graduation. Unfortunately, she has fallen in love with hunky football guy Joe, and she wants to drop out of college to marry. Peggy's roommate Liz is not too keen on the idea, suggesting that they're moving too fast and haven't thought through all the problems they might face, but Peggy's feelings will not be denied. Throughout the short, Liz and her boyfriend Andy are set up as a counterpoint to Peggy's emotional rush, taking their own relationship nice and slow (as is heavily implied to be the "correct" course).


In the end, in the face of overwhelming pressure from Peggy's parents and from Liz, Peggy and Joe elope. Unusually for films of this vintage, despite the fact that the film clearly sets up the young couple as heading for trouble, we never see Peggy either realizing the error of her ways nor coming face to face with the consequences of her brash actions; the story ends with Joe and Peggy visiting a Justice Of The Peace, and ultimately resolves nothing.

For the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode see here.


The short provides the following tropes:

  • As You Know: Liz and Andy reminisce about an argument they recently had by narrating the details like they're telling a story rather than reminding each other of the event.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: Liz and Andy's blowout fight over drinking in college dorms.
    Mike: Drinking? In college? I've never heard of such a thing...
  • No Ending: Kind of a bold step in that day and age. Although the film goes out of its way to imply that Peggy and Joe are wrong for wanting to marry/elope, in the end nothing is solved and the narrator asks questions that aren't answered.
  • Scare 'Em Straight: Averted. The implications that Joe and Peggy are in the wrong remain only implications; as noted above, no consequences are shown.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Peggy.
    • Dumbass Has a Point: The one thing you could possibly side with her on is how wrong it is of her mother to keep pushing her to marry a rich boy for the money.


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