Awkward foray into romantic comedy depicting a dog walker on New York’s Upper West Side falling in love with one of her (human) clients based on the contents of his apartment.
Nina, an erstwhile copywriter at Random House who burned out on the nasty antics of the publishing world, takes over her friend Claire’s dog-walking business when the aspiring actress gets a part in a TV show. First-timer Schnur, the former editor-in-chief of Dell Publishing and Delacorte Press, provides plenty of cute scenes showing Nina walking her charges en masse and displaying her moral superiority over the pooches’ actual owners, whose apartments she checks out (despite her moral superiority) while picking up the pets. One of Nina’s favorite dogs, Siddhartha, belongs to a lawyer named Daniel. Without meeting him, Nina develops a crush on Daniel based on what she learns from snooping in his apartment. Of course, readers know right off from the description of the apartment that Daniel is actually a shallow yuppie, not worthy of our witty, pretty, and artistically gifted heroine. They might well wonder why Nina doesn’t pick up on this, but that’s okay because the “Daniel” she eventually meets is his identical twin Billy, an IRS agent using the apartment to stake out a suspect: a charming, mysteriously wealthy older woman who happens to be another of Nina’s clients. Billy/Daniel and Nina have immediate chemistry, for no better reason than he’s the sensitive romantic lead Schnur wants us to believe Nina deserves. Although the road to happiness can be rocky when one lover is not whom he claims and the other is a snoop, don’t be surprised when Nina, Billy, and all the supporting characters (except chauvinist pig Daniel) reap love and success.
Schnur’s attempts at humor, alas, are gratingly obvious and annoyingly self-congratulatory, especially when praising Nina and Manhattan.