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Interpersonal Communication Film Paper; Hitch

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Your essay should include the following: 

  1. Introduction: In the introduction you should briefly describe the film you have chosen and specifically the relationship(s) in the film that you will be analyzing. Preview the main points of the paper (which theories or model you will be using to analyze the film) and the role that communication generally played in the success or failure of this relationship.
  2. Choose one of the theories (or model) of relational development from Chapter 8, briefly describe the theory/model and discuss how your film illustrates the ideas from this theory or model. Provide examples from the film (describe a scene and/or use short excerpts of dialogue) to illustrate your points. Explain why you think this theory best explains the way the relationship developed. Theories from this chapter include: 
    • Attraction Theory
    • Uncertainty Reduction Theory
    • Social Penetration Theory 
    • Knapp’s Stage Model of Relational Development
  3. Choose one of the theories of relational maintenance from Chapter 9 and discuss how your film illustrates the theory. In this section of the paper, you should describe the theory briefly and show how the theory you have chosen best explains the way the characters in the film maintain (or do not maintain) the relationship, using examples from the film to illustrate your argument. Theories from this chapter include:
    • Social Exchange Theory
    • Communication Privacy Management Theory
    • Everyday Talk
    • Relational Dialectics
  4. Conclusion: Briefly summarize the main points of your paper and explain how these theories provided some insight into the role of communication in the development and maintenance of the relationship(s) you examined in the film.
  5. Note: This paper is NOT just a review or summary of the film. Do not include large sections of dialogue. The focus should be the relational communication theories and how they apply to the film relationship, using examples (scene descriptions or short quotes) to illustrate the theory/model.

The paper should meet the following requirements: 

  1. 3 to 4 typed pages, 1-inch margins, 12 pt non-decorative font (Times New Roman, Arial), no cover page
  2. Cite your sources (including the textbook) using MLA (Links to an external site.) or APA (Links to an external site.) formatting 
  3. Save your essay as a Microsoft Word file (.doc or .docx) with your last name and the assignment name as the title (ex: jsmith-IPfilmpaper.doc). 
  4. You may choose any film you like but keep in mind that some films (like action movies) may not have a lot of dialogue between characters and would limit your ability for analysis. Some films that might be better for this assignment and are available for free include: 
    • Spanglish (Links to an external site.) (2004)
    • La La Land (Links to an external site.) (2016)
    • Othello (Links to an external site.) (1995)
    • Shadowlands (Links to an external site.) (1993)
    • Brokeback Mountain (Links to an external site.) (2005)
    • The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons (Links to an external site.) (2008)



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Interpersonal Communication Film Paper: Hitch

"Hitch" is a romantic comedy; rom-com. The film was timed for Valentine's Day with the starring being Will Smith as Alex Hitch Hitchens, a professional consultant. Dating Coach Alex "Hitch" Hitchens mentors a bumbling client, Albert (Kevin James), who has hope of winning the heart of the glamorous Allegra Cole (Amber Valletta). Hitchens has his own setbacks as proven techniques fail to work on Sara Melas, a reporter who was digging into Allegra Coles's love life. The relationships are on the verge of being destroyed when Sara finds out about Hitchen's connections to Albert. One of the couples in Hitch is Albert Brenaman and Allegra Cole, who met each other at work. There is another couple, Alex Hitchens and Sara Melas. There are two relationships that this paper will be analyzing in the identification of the role of communication in relationships. This paper chooses the Uncertainty Reduction Theory. This theory is one of the communication theories that look into the initial interaction between individuals before the actual communication process. The basic assertion of the theory is that when interacting, parties need to have information about the other to be able to reduce their uncertainty. In the attempt to seek such information, it is easier to give the right prediction of the other person's behavior and subsequent actions. And this process is essential in initiating a relationship. the film does not align with uncertainty Reduction theory; the theory promotes familiarization before getting into a relationship, while the film believes in love on the first encounter.

The reduction theory holds that human beings are not comfortable with uncertainty and seek the means to predict the flight of social interactions. People seek to reduce these uncertainties by utilizing passive, active, and interactive strategies to try and explain the behavior of someone during an interaction. A perceived strategy is similar to the act of observing a person from a distance, a case of potential romantic interests’ observations. Then there is the active strategy which could be compared to the act of looking up a person online to get basic information in one's social media profile. Lastly, there is the interactive strategy, which has a close resemblance to face-to-face interaction; in this strategy, there is the exchange of basic information, and this is the phase where uncertainty is reduced via the initial exchange.

There are some concepts of uncertainty reduction theory within the film. To start with, there are passive strategies that have been employed; Hitchens holds on to non-intrusive observation of Sara as she takes her drink. Hitch seems to attend to nonverbal cues, attire, and closed posture. He seems to have a passive interaction with an "unsuitable" suitor. The unsuccessful suitor notices that Sara is alone and has a drink by her side. The film also gives some active cue strategy in the incidence that Hitch asks the bar attendant about Sara; He confirms the job, favorite, and how frequently Sara visits. On interactive  strategies evident in the film are incidences that Hitch engages in an active discussion with Sara, asks general and appropriate questions buys drinks, and saves Sara from Unsuccessful Suitor when he disguises themself as her boyfriend and calls her "honey." The unsuccessful suitor does not address Sara in the right pick-up lines; he buys the wrong drinks and does...


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