- (French: sentimental comedy) A type of sentimental comedy thatbecame fashionable in the 18th-century French theater. It was popularizedby Pierre Claude Nivelle de La Chausée (1692 - 1754) insome 40 moralistic dramas that included La Fausse Antipathie(1733), Le Préjugé à mode (1735), andMélanide (1741). His usual formula was to place ordinarycharacters in an unhappy situation that nevertheless works out happily.
La Chaussée's plays were translated into German, Italian,Dutch, and English. The influence of comédie larmoyantewas especially strong in Germany. It Britain it influenced the mildercomedy of sentiment that superseded the witty and outrageous comedyof manners of the Restoration era.