"City Lights" is a picture starring Charlie Chaplin. It is a silent film released after the advent of talkies (1931). The setting of the movie is The Great Depression in America or present time when it was released. The movie could be considered a "romantic comedy" as Chaplin's humor has similarities to Ben Stiller who often uses physical happenings to make the audience laugh.
"City Lights" was not entirely a silent film even though it is often put into the silent film category. There are sounds including music and sound effects, but no dialogue. Chaplin uses sound for comedic moments and to create atmosphere, rather than to tell the story. An example of this technique is seen just after the opening credits when the mayor is about to unveil a statue and is giving a speech but instead of hearing the speech you get what I call "Charlie Brown talk."
Chaplin puts a word narrative on the screen so that you know the purpose of the speech. I believe that nothing is lost with the absence of dialogue as the audience understand what is going on in the scene and get the comedy being expressed.
The audiences viewing this movie when it was first released were more likely to relate to the main characters. Charlie Chaplin played a tramp; I believe the definition of a tramp during the time period would now be called a homeless person. During the Great Depression in America, over a quarter of American workers were unemployed and most struggled to make it through everyday life. Chaplin's character was very much the same. When moviegoers relate to the characters it is more likely they will enjoy the movie.
The romantic part of the movie centers around a beautiful blind woman that sells flowers on the...