Our films may be understood as parables of a phase of the development of consciousness at which the struggle is for reciprocity or equality of consciousness between a woman and a man, a study of the conditions under which this fight for recognition (as Hegel put it) or demand for acknowledgment (as I have put it) is a struggle for mutual freedom, especially of the views each holds of the other. This gives the films of our genre a Utopian cast. They harbor a vision which they know cannot fully be domesticated, inhabited, in the world we know. They are romances. Showing us our fantasies, they express the inner agenda of a nation that conceives Utopian longings and commitments for itself.”
from Stanley Cavell’s Pursuits of Happiness: The Hollywood Comedy of Remarriage. I’m currently reading a lot of Cavell for a paper, this is a slight work, but makes for great reading.