Sally Milz is a sketch writer for “The Night Owls,” the late-night live comedy show that airs each Saturday. With a couple of heartbreaks under her belt, she’s long abandoned the search for love, settling instead for the occasional hook-up, career success, and a close relationship with her stepfather to round out a satisfying life.
But when Sally’s friend and fellow writer Danny Horst begins dating Annabel, a glamorous actor who guest-hosted the show, he joins the not-so-exclusive group of talented but average-looking and even dorky men at the show—and in society at large—who’ve gotten romantically involved with incredibly beautiful and accomplished women. Sally channels her annoyance into a sketch called the “Danny Horst Rule,” poking fun at this phenomenon while underscoring how unlikely it is that the reverse would ever happen for a woman.
Enter Noah Brewster, a pop music sensation with a reputation for dating models, who signed on as both host and musical guest for this week’s show. Dazzled by his charms, Sally hits it off with Noah instantly, and as they collaborate on one sketch after another, she begins to wonder whether there might actually be sparks flying. But this isn’t a romantic comedy; it’s real life. And in real life, someone like him would never date someone like her…right?
Romantic Comedy (Amazon US) (Amazon UK) (Audible.com) (AbeBooks Used Book Marketpkace)
Romantic Comedy is a story in three parts: the first is a behind-the-scenes look at writing on The Night Owls, a total rip-off of Saturday Night Live, and the protagonist, Sally, a writer on the show, meeting rock star Noah in 2018. The reader finds out just what it takes to put on a live weekly sketch comedy show, and the relationships that can develop between cast, crew, and guest host. Told from Sally’s perspective, it’s funny and sad at the same time since she’s written herself off love because she’s not model thin and in her early 20s.
The second part of the book is July 2020, smack dab in the middle of the pandemic, with Sally and Noah emailing back and forth. There’s plenty of witty banter and reflection on how society sees relationships of the rich and famous. I really enjoyed this section of the book best, because we really get to know Sally and Noah better as they get to know each other at the same time.
The third section of the book is set in August 2020 and in Los Angeles. Sally has driven across the country to see Noah, and a typical rom-com ensues. There’s mutual attraction, then a torrent of sex (which isn’t written out explicitly, thankfully, as I prefer my rom coms to be rather tame.) The big fight occurs when Sally and Noah’s picture is splashed across the tabloids, and Sally thinks she’s too unattractive to be with Noah (this is a recurring theme throughout the book–her utter plainness means she’s got incredibly low self-esteem.) Noah shows that rock stars aren’t all about sex, drugs and rock n’ roll. He’s just a really nice guy who just so happens to be a musician that has publicly dated starlets but has also had his share of low-profile relationships.
Although the romance is predictable, most rom coms are, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Recommend!
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Here is what I think of it
This book review is a great reminder of the charm of romance and the hilarity of behind-the-scenes comedy. Thank you for the recommendation!
Thanks, Ely Shemer
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