Film student meets love interest.
Charlotte Frost has a mental habit of chronicling her life in screenplay format—but no one would pay money to see the movie, since her life is really, really boring. Okay, so she’s in the graduate film program at Columbia and the protégée of the famous Horton Lear, who thinks the world of her. But so what? Horton honestly doesn’t like her latest opus, Honey and Helen, which has to do with a lesbian love triangle involving a paraplegic, a nurse, and someone else. But it’s character-driven, Charlie whines, knowing that her chances of winning a prestigious film fellowship are slim. Off she stomps to teach yoga on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, where she corrects the downward-dog pose of an utterly gorgeous guy. How is she, the overly cerebral child of an English professor, supposed to know that Hank Destin is a soap opera star? Depressed after a date with a doorman who saves her from a mugging, she goes out with Hank anyway, who has darling dimples and muscular buns—and he’s heterosexual. Even though he, a native of New Jersey, seems to be a teeny bit lacking in the intellectual pretensions Charlie loves to flaunt—the wry literary allusions, the intuitive grasp of cryptic visual symbolism in obscure Russian films, the endless references to classic movies that have much better dialogue than this book has—Hank does send flowers and matzo balls from the Second Avenue Deli when she comes down with a cold. Charlie’s astonished to see herself on the Post’s Page Six, especially since Hank’s last flame, a gorgeous redheaded actress, is also mentioned. He can’t be serious. Wonder of wonders, though, Hank agrees to star in her shoestring-budget remake of Madame Bovary. Will it prove a hit at the Toronto Film Festival? Is his love real?
Carefully crafted debut has a few funny lines, but the condescending tone grates.