Mayer and the usually irresistible Crusie (Bet Me, 2004, etc.) stumble in this romantic action film of a novel about a woman trying to direct a romantic action film set near Savannah, Ga.
After the previous director succumbs to a heart attack, Lucy Armstrong agrees to direct for the shoot’s last four days the movie on which her ex-husband Conner is stunt coordinator, mainly because she wants to spend time with her sister Daisy, also working on the movie, and five-year-old niece Pepper. Lucy is worried about Daisy, who seems drugged out, and Pepper, who seems lonely (and unbearably, unbelievably precocious). Lucy learns from her assistant that an action ending has been tacked on to the romantic comedy. Although the ending, requiring dangerous stunts, makes no sense, she is pressured by the movie’s mysterious Irish backer Finnegan to finish filming. Meanwhile, Conner says he wants to get back together, but Lucy—wisely—no longer trusts him and finds herself more attracted to the leading actor’s new stunt double, a Special Forces macho warrior named J.T. Wilder. Lucy does not know that J.T. has been assigned by the CIA to track down Finnegan and the Russian mobster to whom he owes 50 million dollars’ worth of Mexican phallic sculptures. J.T. wins Pepper’s heart when he gives her a Wonder Woman Doll. It doesn’t take him much more to win over Lucy, with whom he’s soon having torrid sex. Meanwhile, scary things are happening that may or may not be accidents. Throw in a one-eyed pregnant alligator and a sniper sharing the nearby swamp and the danger quotient rises, especially when Pepper is kidnapped. Despite plenty of blood-and-guts violence, there’s not much mystery to pull the reader along.
Oddly wimpy and not much fun.