Classic Hollywood movies were work of art that was devoted close to theoretical and critical attention of the movie plot and cinematic text and ideology.
Genre analysis can be problematical though. What is called analysis or criticism is often little more than making note of superficial similarities or differences amongst films. This is true across film criticism in general. Rick Altman calls this approach to genre criticism the semantic approach—a focus on the more superficial aspects of films that fit into a given genre. A semantic examination would point out the character types, aesthetics, plot lines, etc., which are common to the films.
The inevitable question that must arise from such an assessment is, “Why bother?” What good does it do to point out that noir films all make extensive use of light and shadow plot development for example, or that Westerns usually feature saloons? In this case genre analysis is no different from a similar analysis of a given individual film. To be valuable, genre analysis must bring deeper issues to the surface.
In the context of this deeper, broader method of analysis, I think that genre criticism can be very useful. Qualities or incidences and similarities that seem insignificant in individual films can take on more meaning when connected with similar characteristics of other films in the genre—if we have shown the existence of the genre itself. So while the semantic approach is necessary, it is a means to an end—the end being the syntactic analysis which can then be taken up, and which can tell us something about the societies in which the films are produced and consumed. These high school comedy romance movies are new genre and all similar movies are based on almost the same story line.
The existence of particular genres themselves is significant as well. Given that a group of films of this high school genre share a common lot of significant characteristics, we can and should then ask why this is