Drama & Romance

Once we did some more research and looked at the drama sub-genres in more depth, Adrianna and I decided to do a romantic drama trailer.

Drama is a film genre that depends on the development of realistic characters dealing with emotional themes. Dramatic ideological themes like alcoholism, poverty, illness, moral dilemmas, put the characters in conflict with themselves, others and sometimes society.  At the center of a drama is usually a character who is in conflict at a crucial moment in their lives; they often revolve around families.

Romantic drama is a sub-genre of drama, that represents love stories recorded in visual media for broadcast in theaters and on television that focus on passion, emotion and the affectionate romantic involvement of the main characters. The narrative usually begins with a state of equilibrium and after the disruption of this, the story revolves around an obstacle which prevents true and deep romantic love between two people. Non-diegetic sound (always parallel soundtracks) is often used to indicate the emotional mood, creating an atmosphere of greater insulation for the couple.

In order to produce a professional trailer, we have looked at the “Repertoire of elements” of romantic dramas.

The sign that is typical to a romantic drama is the chemistry portrayed between the two main characters and the actions they do (eg: the two characters in “The Vow” who make the vow when they’re getting married).  In terms of costumes, the characters in the romance films tend to wear ordinary/middle class clothes, however, when there is a class difference between the two protagonists, one of them would wear more “upper-class” clothes that portray the higher status. On the other hand, in order to represent what is going in a certain scene, the characters would wear adequate clothing (eg: in “The Vow”, the two are wearing wedding clothes because they are getting married).

Also, in a romantic drama film, there are typical props that portray the genre. For example in “The Notebook”, the two main characters are sending each other letters in which they express their feelings and love for each other, which won’t necessarily be expressed face to face – a letter is an iconic prop as it connotes love and romance, as well as reflecting intimate aspects of the relationship.

Ideological theme

The main message of a romantic drama is love. However, there are moments of disequilibrium – in “The fault in our stars” the main female character gets put into hospital which prevents the couple from being together. At the end, the male protagonist dies – this subverts Todorov’s theory where he suggests that a narrative ends with the state of equilibrium being re-established.


The typical male character in a romantic drama would be a man who’s protective and would do everything to be together with the woman he loves; for example in “The Vow”, the male protagonist constantly tries to help the female main character remember about her life and their marriage.

On the other hand, the female characters are portrayed as being vulnerable – for example, in “The fault in our stars” the female characters is ill throughout the film and gets put into hospital, and in “The Vow” the female main character loses her memory after an accident, which makes her really vulnerable.

Usually, in a romantic drama, the older people (the parents of one of the characters) are against the love of the two protagonists, like in “The Notebook” where the female character’s parents are slightly against the relationship of the main characters because of the class difference.


The typical locations of a romantic drama film are both indoor and outdoor places where the two main characters feel the most comfortable and places where one of them doesn’t fit in. For instance, in “The Notebook”, the two characters are shown at a lake three times, this signifying that the lake is their place; however, they are also shown at the female main character’s house where all the posh/upper class people gathered and because the male character is from a lower class, he doesn’t fit in. The outdoor locations are usually designed to portray the more evident aspects of the characters’ attitudes and relationships, whereas the indoor ones tend to portray the more private aspects.

Other typical places are hospitals, as they connote the obstacle between the two main characters.


The typical narrative of a romantic drama is two people falling in love, who then go through a stage of disequilibrium – the hero tries to reinstall the state of equilibrium, however the characters usually end up not being together.  

Our target audience will be 12+ especially females; however, we still haven’t thought of our final idea for the trailer.


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