DAZZLE by Elinor & Dora Landey Klein


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It's the night of the super-premiere of the new super-movie Rituals (simultaneous screenings and parties all over the world)--and, in flashbacks within flashbacks within flashbacks, we're treated to the lives of the key showbiz folk involved and the trials of getting the movie made. There's Coppola/Scorsese-ish director Mike Fiorucci, an Italian street kid with dreams (""Somehow I'm gonna do real magic and the whole fuckin' world is gonna know it"") who studies with Stella Adler, links up with book-smart Penny (they marry after her abortion), and does porn before starting to make it big and play around (though Penny stays on as soulmate-screenwriter). There's star Monte Welch, an obnoxious, exaggerated-Jewish type addicted to drugs and underage girls: he barely manages to get through the filming of Rituals, thanks only to live-in watchdog Diana--a promiscuous fallen society-girl (""I want you to know, Mother, that I love to fuck!"") with sleazy ambitions of her own. And, above all, there's supreme flak Geoff Costigan, the cool and Southern-accented king of public relations (""He could sell rubbers to the Pope"") who's stooping to promote Rituals only so as to repay some sinister mobby types; he soothes egos, applies pressures, helps the Fioruccis to make the movie their way when the studio demands crass changes. . . and consistently inspires awe and passion from his nauseatingly adoring secretary Morgan. Unfortunately, authors Klein and Landey never really capture the gritty authenticity needed to back up the glitter and across-the-board vulgarity here--you won't believe in Costigan's super-powers for a second. And the fuzzy flashback format adds confusion rather than texture to the thin, shapeless scenario. Intermittently lively--the excessive party plans do provide some fun--but, overall, a padded shlock-entertainment for gossip-column fanatics only.

Pub Date: Feb. 20th, 1979
Publisher: Putnam