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THE COMEDY WRITER by Peter Farrelly

THE COMEDY WRITER

By Peter Farrelly

Pub Date: May 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-385-49052-6
Publisher: Doubleday

Farrelly’s droll second novel (Outside Providence, 1988) trades on his adventures as a budding screenwriter.

Farrelly co-wrote and co-directed the grossout film Dumb and Dumber and co-directed Kingpin, which also had its grossout moments—as does this. When Henry Halloran, 33, who sells space on cargo ships, is dumped by his Boston girlfriend, he quits his job and takes off for Hollywood to try his skills as a writer. Once there, his attempt to save a woman by the name of Bonnie Driscoll from jumping from a 16th-floor roof fails, but he gets an artful story out of her suicide, a piece he manages to sell to the L.A. Times. He moves into the Blue Terrace apartments, across the hall from starlet Tiffany Pittman, a blond nympho with scientifically engineered breasts, who relies on him for neighborly help but tells him that she has a rule against sex with neighbors. Then the late Bonnie’s not-entirely-sane sister Colleen shows up at Henry’s door with her suitcases, and demands that he take her in until some money she’s expecting from Japan arrives. It never does, of course, and Henry falls ever deeper into the net of Colleen’s nuttiness, as well as into an obsession about Bonnie’s big jump. Meanwhile, he shucks a script around town and lands an agent, who sends him to meet with thuggish producer Ted Bowman. Ted wants him to write a film about romance in the ’90s featuring a love-stricken serial killer. The obliging Henry comes up with the grisly "Ice Cream Man," and the sociopathic Bowman growls with joy. Henry at story’s end has experienced little success either as writer or lover—but he is, nonetheless, a sweetly sympathetic figure

A winner, nicely skewering some of the weirder elements of life in lotusland, though not as black-witted and biting as some other recent Hollywood fiction.