Review: From Hollywood with Love

From Hollywood with Love: The Rise and Fall (and Rise Again) of the Romantic Comedy


An in-depth celebration of the romantic comedy’s modern golden era and its role in our culture, tracking the genre from its heyday in the ’80s and the ’90s, its unfortunate decline in the 2000s, and its explosive reemergence in the age of streaming, featuring exclusive interviews with the directors, writers, and stars of the iconic films that defined the genre.

No Hollywood genre has been more misunderstood–or more unfairly under-appreciated–than the romantic comedy. Funny, charming, and reliably crowd-pleasing, rom-coms were the essential backbone of the Hollywood landscape, launching the careers of many of Hollywood’s most talented actors and filmmakers, such as Julia Roberts and Matthew McConaughey, and providing many of the yet limited creative opportunities women had in Hollywood. But despite–or perhaps because of–all that, the rom-com has routinely been overlooked by the Academy Awards or snobbishly dismissed by critics. In From Hollywood with Love, culture writer and GQ contributor Scott Meslow seeks to right this wrong, celebrating and analyzing rom-coms with the appreciative, insightful critical lens they’ve always deserved.

Beginning with the golden era of the romantic comedy–spanning from the late ’80s to the mid-’00s with the breakthrough of films such as When Harry Met Sally–to the rise of streaming and the long-overdue push for diversity setting the course for films such as the groundbreaking, franchise-spawning Crazy Rich Asians, Meslow examines the evolution of the genre through its many iterations, from its establishment of new tropes, the Austen and Shakespeare rewrites, the many love triangles, and even the occasional brave decision to do away with the happily ever after.

Featuring original black-and-white sketches of iconic movie scenes and exclusive interviews with the actors and filmmakers behind our most beloved rom coms, From Hollywood with Love constructs oral histories of our most celebrated romantic comedies, for an informed and entertaining look at Hollywood’s beloved yet most under-appreciated genre.

Rating: 5-stars


As an English grad major and a fan of rom coms, this debut book, From Hollywood with Love is a must have on every bookshelf! I am always studying new pieces of literature from classics to comic books, but this is a new adventure altogether. Studying rom coms is a new, exciting, and a blessing. I love all things from the romance genre. Scott Meslow wrote this book for readers and fans of the genre to explore what makes rom coms so special that they last a lifetime. Some things go in and out of fashion, but romantic comedies stay in popular demand. They are not just a romance. There is more depth to them than most think and Scott Meslow discusses this in his debut book. I was thrilled when I saw this and excited to have read it. This book will forever be my favorite go-to book when it comes to rom coms. Scott goes into what makes rom coms successful and so culturally accepted and loved by many. His book explores sixteen of these most popular films/books. Overall, it is a fascinating read and one that explains a lot. Plus, it can also help aspiring writers of rom coms in creating their future stories.



·       Defines what a romantic comedy is: Far too often, comedies that focus on a female protagonist — The Devil Wears PradaMiss CongenialityLegally Blonde — are described as “romantic comedies” just because they happen to star women. What’s the proper balance between romance and comedy? How has the genre changed over the years? And is it still a romantic comedy if the couple doesn’t end up together at all?

·       Shares behind-the-scenes stories: How did Pretty Woman change from a grim drama about life on the streets to a modern-day fairy tale? How did the Farrelly Brothers talk both the studio and Cameron Diaz into letting them shoot that “hair gel” scene in There’s Something About Mary? How did Nancy Meyers parlay her grief over a real-life breakup into Something’s Gotta Give? These stories, and many more, offer a revealing snapshot of what these movies could have been, and how they finally came together.

·       A black and white photo of a couple of women

Description automatically generated with low confidenceDiscusses the future of romantic comedies: After years of premature eulogies, romantic comedies are back, buoyed by the mammoth success of Crazy Rich Asians and a slate of Netflix hits that includes The Kissing Booth and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogies. As the genre trends toward franchises instead of standalone movies, and embraces a belated but welcome push toward more diversity, are we   on the cusp of a new golden age of romantic comedies?

·       Reveals how the Oscars view romantic comedies: Romantic comedies are rarely nominated for Academy Awards—why do awards groups have a bias against these types of films, and what do the ones that do get prestigious awards attention tell us about the film industry’s priorities?

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