Have you seen a romantic comedy lately that does not contain nudity, sex, or kissing? Is it really possible for a romantic comedy to exist without these elements? Actually, there is a film that exists with none of the above elements. This film is George Cukor's 1964 My Fair Lady, based on the 1956 play, My Fair Lady, by Alan J. Lerner. This film's origins go back to George Bernard Shaw's 1913 play, Pygmalion, which was eventually developed into a film in 1938, directed by Anthony Asquith and Leslie Howard. More than three decades later this non-sexual romantic comedy still remains as a musical favorite.
Within My Fair Lady, the closest that Eliza (Audrey Hepburn), a poor flower girl transferred in to a lady, comes to admitting her feelings toward her teacher, Higgins (Rex Harrison), is singing that she could have danced all night with the man. His much delayed response, after she has run off with Freddy (Jeremy Brett) is simply remarking about how he has grown accustomed to her face. A movie that contains this kind of romanticism would not survive in today's entertainment industry.
It is sad to see how we as Americans have changed from 1964 to 2005 in our expectations about what a romantic moment should be. Today we expect to see nude people often engaged in sex to make the feeling between individuals appear to be realistic, as they declare their love for one another. What exactly happened to waiting until marriage on as well as off the screen before having discreet sex? Movies today publicize that is not necessary to wait till marriage to indulge in steamy sex. Maybe more movies, such as My Fair Lady, need to be shown to our younger generation as positive cinematic role models.
Few films around today are as pure and innocent in context as My Fair Lady. This is a film that have been cherished as a classic and adored by many fans for forty years. This I believe is proof that steamy nudity, sex, and kissing are not needed to make a romantic comedy a successful and joyful experience for the people to enjoy.