CeASR Seminar- Mental Health Narratives in Rom Coms
Social Change Programme Speaker, Dr Alison Wilde, School of Education, Leeds Beckett University
There has been a great deal of dissatisfaction with portrayals of mental distress/illness in the media, and most of this has demonstrated the problem of the associations made between violence and 'madness'. In an effort to go beyond these concerns, I decided to look at mental health discourses in portrayals of mental health in discourses of romantic love. As a popular genre which many people identify with, I will analyse two recent romantic comedies which have mental health concerns at the heart of their narratives. The first is Greenberg, directed by Noah Baumbach in 2010, and the second is Silver Linings Playbook, directed by David O. Russell in 2012. Both have very similar storylines, but I will argue that they generate very different discourses on normality, mental health and mental distress.