The hard-pressed PR head of a posh Hollywood hotel copes with Oscar madness in L.A. Times writer McNamara’s manic, loose-limbed debut.
Nobody ever said dealing with celebrities was easy, but Juliette Greyson makes it look easy. Whether she’s distributing Oscar Night Survival Kits to the Pinnacle Hotel staff, comforting a maid who’s been lured into a room by an amorous star or keeping her discovery of a corpse in the hotel’s swimming pool secret, nobody beats her ability to make everybody happy. Of course, that ability didn’t extend to screenwriter Josh Singer, her ex-husband, who dumped her for Anna Stewart, the lissome British star of the movie he was able to put together after she fixed his script. Now Josh and Anna are on their way to the Pinnacle, the choice of discerning Oscaristas. So besides having to hold the hand of David Fulbright, who’s about to be fired from his latest movie, and make nice with cancer-stricken megastar Michael O’Connor, whose illness has done nothing to sweeten his temper, Juliette has to play the gracious hostess to the happy couple. But when things go badly, Juliette is never fazed for long—not when Josh is knifed hours after he asks her to give his two latest scripts a once-over and she curses him out in public, not when the cops see her as a logical suspect in his murder. And why should she be fazed, since all hands on deck, from her boss Eamonn Devlin, to the pampered guests, seem determined to take care of her? In short order, Michael has provided her with an alibi and a weekend in Palm Springs, and Eamonn gives her time off and takes her home with him too. Nice work if you can get it.
The main dish here is dish, but McNamara’s too diplomatic or starstruck to give her whimsical portraits of stars behaving madly much of an edge.