HANSEL AND GRETEL IN BEVERLY HILLS by Sheila Weller

HANSEL AND GRETEL IN BEVERLY HILLS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

It could only happen in--or come from--southern California: the supposedly heartwarming bosom-buddy relationship between a woman and her hairdresser (no, not the Warren Beatty variety--the other variety). Ronald is a relentlessly campy (""I love it! . . . Gimme a break!""), aging flamer who's carrying a torch for a ""blond T-shirred Adonis."" Lil, our narrator, is ""the hippest yenta"" Ronald has ever met, a sex-hungry, widowed divorcee who's looking for work as a publicist. They mother each other, ""darling"" each other, and console each other when their love lives go sour: Ronald's new, true love for a cautious closet type goes awry; Lil falls for a sixtyish hick from Tucson but can't stomach those square Arizona friends of his. However, not even Weller's cheap devices for ennobling this duo--Ronald is supporting a Nicaraguan orphan--can disguise their incredible capacity for self-pity (bravely hidden by banter, of course) and childish, selfish behavior. Nor do the Beverly Hills trappings--cocktail-party movie talk, disco radio station vignettes--help to take down the plastic sheen of this sentimental tiptoe through the ""amyl nitrate pansy patch.

Pub Date: May 19th, 1978
Publisher: Morrow