The romance film is a film genre characterized by arguments portray constructed events and characters related to the expression of love and romantic relationships. The romantic cinema focuses on the representation of a love story of two participants, which goes through the main stages of the conception of love such as courtship and marriage.
This cinematographic genre frequently explores key elements in the popular conception of love, building its argument from situations such as love at first sight, chronologically discordant love (love between a person of young age and a person of mature age), love tragic, destructive love, passionate sexual love, homo, erotic, love and impossible love. The romantic cinema is characterized by portraying a love story or the search for love as the main argument of the film, supporting situations outside the main argument that would hinder the continuity of love between the couple who starred in the plot of the film. Loving obstacles include the perception of an impossible love, infidelity, the love incompatibility, the love-hate, the illness, the money, the social discrimination and the intervention of people who try to end the love of the couple.
Romantic cinema constitutes the audiovisual adaptation of love in words or the literary love of the romance novel. One of the first film works considered romantic cinema was the 1896 short film by William Heise, Der Kuss (The Kiss), this short film starring May Irwin and John Rice showed images of both actors giving each other a kiss on the lips.
With the entrance of the 20th century, love became popular on screens. The theme of love between two people was marketed and new film titles that portrayed love during the first three decades of the twentieth century in the silent film period began to emerge. Some silent film titles that included love as main plot were Camille (1915) directed by Albert Capellani, Intolerance (1916) directed by David Wark Griffith, Male and Female (1919) directed by Cecil B. DeMille, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921) directed by Rex Ingram, The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) directed by Wallace Worsley and The Garden of Eden (1928) directed by Lewis Milestone.
Romantic cinema gained great popularity with the arrival of sound films, which allowed a greater understanding of the audience and an increase in the complexity of film production. Beginning in the 1930s, new sound films began to be produced (usually based on existing novels) that began to have greater complexity because they included more extensive dialogues and music that accompanied the film's environment. Some notable titles of the decade of the 30's and 40's include: Chained (1934) directed by Clarence Brown, Camille (1936) directed by George Cukor and The Philadelphia Story (1940) directed by George Cukor. In the 1930s a subgenre of romantic cinematography flourished, the romantic comedy with exponents such as: It Happened One Night (1934) and Bringing Up Baby (1938).
In the 50's when the romantic cinema reached its peak during the film production of the golden age of Hollywood. This period is the time in which new genres of romantic cinema appeared and developed, such as the romantic thriller, chick flick, romantic comedy and romantic drama.