Communication and Relationships in Film

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In this paper, you will examine several central theories of interpersonal communication and apply them to the film of your choice. The focus will be on how communication is used to initiate, maintain, and terminate relationships, and will cover several theories of each stage. The film will serve as a vehicle for learning about interpersonal communication and relationships. You will analyze what the film has shown about the ways people relate to one another.

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You are expected to write a short, three to four page analysis of the film. DO NOT go under two and a half or over four and a half pages. Your analysis should include 3 different sections:

  1. Theories of Relationship Development
    Choose two of the theories of relationship development discussed in your book (pages 190-195) and discuss your film illustrates these theories. Give several examples that illustrate each, and be sure to explain why you think these theories are particularly relevant to the film you have chosen.
  2. Models of Relationship Development
    Choose one of the models of relationship development discussed in your book (pages 196-198) and explain how it is illustrated in one of the relationships found in your film. For each stage in the model, you should define it and give an example from the film.
  3. Maintenance/ Ending a Relationship
    Discuss either how one of the relationships in your film is maintained by the characters (pages 202-212) or discuss reasons that the relationship in your film will end (or likely end.) Be sure to discuss aversive communication behaviors that the characters display (if relevant) and provide specific examples.

You will need an introduction and a conclusion in this paper and include examples that you found to be the most enlightening, controversial, or even possibly incorrect. You will be expected to discuss what individuals did, what happened, and why. Relevant communication theory and text material should be introduced for each example. You should write this paper as if you were going to demonstrate your expertise and knowledge to an individual that has little or no knowledge of communication theory. That “pretend reader” should learn a lot from reading your paper.

This is not a review of the film you have chosen, and should not include several paragraphs/pages of dialogue from the movie. After reading your paper, I should be able to understand your analysis from an interpersonal communication theory perspective—not someone who just watched the film and wrote about it. Your goal should be to demonstrate that you understand the theories discussed in your book.

The paper should be 3-4 pages (typed), 1 in margins, double-spaced, 12pt Times New Roman font, with no cover pg required. You must cite the course textbook using MLA formatting. When saving your document, include your last name and the assignment, and save as either a Microsoft Word file (.doc or .docx) or a Rich Text File (.rtf).

You are free to choose any film that you like, but choose a film that gives you something to work with. For example, if you choose an action film with little dialogue, you will be limiting yourself to nonverbal communication, which will make it more difficult for you to write about. I have many suggestions for films, if you are having trouble thinking of one that you’d like to write about, and below are a few good examples:

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