1407 BROADWAY by Joel Gross


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After a mildly promising, lightly amusing send-off in the screwball comedy vein, Gross' fashion-biz trifle unravels into trendy soap opera à clef--though it does always remain a notch or two above exploitation pulp. That initial appeal stems from the culture-shock encounter between young, married ""shmate pusher"" Jonathan Singer and socialite Valerie Holmes (""Holmes, like in Rockefeller""). Jonathan, all chutzpah and serene vulgarity, persuades Valerie to lend her name (soon Val insists on creative input as well) to a new line of simple shirtwaist dresses, despite the Holmes clan's fierce opposition: ""That's where we'll be--pushing some Jewish gentleman's inferior merchandise to the very people who associate our name with the highest stratum of American society."" Things grow tiresome, however, with the inevitable Jonathan/Valerie romance (in Paris), and especially with the appearance of a gaggle of homosexual designers (""Did you ever see so many fairies under one roof before, Miss Holmes?""), one of whom attempts to work out his sexual identity crisis with Val: ""I don't think you're gay, Hugh. But I don't think you're in love with my body either."" Gross does manage a few bits of tart and edgy dialogue, but the best thing one can say about this undramatic and unconvincing diversion is that--no small achievement these days--it's inoffensive.

Pub Date: Sept. 12th, 1978
Publisher: Seaview--dist. by Simon & Schuster