SAD MOVIES by Mark Lindquist


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Following the hip neon of Jay Mclnerney and Bret Easton Ellis, first-novelist Lindquist scripts the spiritless spiritual crisis of Zeke, a young L.A. copywriter sunk in a bog of ""fatal sensitivity, sadness, and confusion."" Zeke falls into numb malaise at his 25th birthday party. He can't make love with his girlfriend Becky, so he sips Scotch and listens to talk about AIDS and apocalypse. The next day he goes off to his job at sleazy Big Gun Pictures (where he writes slogans like ""The T Team--This is One Job they Can't Blow!""), but he's so full of the horror of it all (""like I'm living in a Joan Didion novel"") that he allows himself to be dragged off night-clubbing with two punkettes, Wendy and Susie. He winds up in a halfhearted love-trio, then strays with a gorgeous ""module"" the next night. Back home, Zeke can't motivate himself to protest Becky's plans to leave; but on the edge of sleep he decides to kill himself, leaving his insurance money to Becky. He awakes to stare into the round Lennon-shades of his best friend, Y.J. Ogvassed, a self-made gum who quotes Latin and Bill Murray. Y.J. makes Zeke promise to kill himself after the weekend if he can't find a reason to live, then leads him on a series of life-affirming adventures, including a trip to Big Sur with Becky to contact aliens (they never show). Monday night, after the three spring Y.J.'s dog from the pound, Zeke decides that life may be worth living, sick as it is. Lindquist's screenplay-skinny book has the de rigueur tone and bright surface details. But the phony ironic pose of his characters (""not worried. . .just curious"") will grate on most readers.

Pub Date: Nov. 24th, 1987
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly--dist. by Little, Brown