Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Bachelor of Communications Honours


Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)


Faculty of Education and Arts

First Supervisor

Tanja Visosevic


This thesis is concerned with the changes in cinematic depictions of romantic relationships in which there is enough age disparity that the couple could be mistaken for parent and child. These cross-generational affairs have significance within the ideology of the family unit, the heterosexual couple and the classic Hollywood ideal of romantic love. The way that these relationships have been portrayed on screen has changed drastically in mainstream American cinema from the 1950s to the 2000s, and these shifts reflect changing values and attitudes in society since all films exhibit certain ideologies. Through sampling several relevant films made between 1953 and 2008, this study will look at how cross-generational romance is presented as a fairytale dream in the 1950s, a subject for a bittersweet story in the 1970s and 1980s, and finally a nightmarish threat in the 2000s.