THE CIGARETTE GIRL by Carol Wolper

THE CIGARETTE GIRL

KIRKUS REVIEW

An excruciatingly witty debut from screenwriter Wolper, set in Hollywood and full of glam-girl insights on love, sex, success—and the search for “Mr. Maybe.” Elizabeth West is a down-home Hollywood girl, the sort who understands the etiquette of twin beds in Palm Springs and designer champagne at story meetings. A screenwriter, Elizabeth has made her name in the very macho sub-world of action-moron films, and much of her job is consumed by questions of finding the right firearms for the right scene. Although “estrogen” is usually a put-down in her patois, she is surprised to find herself gradually succumbing to the biological clock. She’s 28, after all, which puts her at the start of the “zone—: the prime years (28—35) for finding a man and settling down. But, living in Hollywood, Elizabeth can—t exactly start hanging out at church socials. She has to come up with a treatment, then polish off the edges as she goes along. There’s Jake: a director of some note, who’s been Elizabeth’s mentor and (at 40) father-figure for some time. She admits to a crush on him, but there are problems, not least of which is his girlfriend Blaze. David’s a thirtysomething architect who looks great and “can eat a girl into a coma,” but his idea of commitment is a three-day weekend. Nigel is an acid-tongued Brit who owns a trendy restaurant in Malibu but is standoffish and spastic in that annoyingly English way. The only decent man in Elizabeth’s life seems to be her best friend Andrew, who runs an art gallery and warns Elizabeth when she’s flying too close to the flames. Can she start something there? No way. This is Hollywood, after all, where decency marks you as a loser. Elizabeth will have to make the best of a bad hand. Or will she? Slick to the max: after about ten pages, Wolper’s high-testosterone romp begins to sound like Cynthia Heimel on speed.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 1-57322-137-6
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Riverhead
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1999




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