I’ll admit it: I will read anything Curtis Sittenfeld writes. When I saw her newest book was out, I jumped on NetGalley and requested a copy. (Thank you, NetGalley!)
Romantic Comedy follows Sally Milz, a writer for a late-night comedy sketch show who’s pretty much given up on love. When her male co-worker starts dating a gorgeous model, Sally is annoyed and writes a sketch about this phenomenon: why is it that dorky, average-looking men always seem to end up with beautiful women? Why is a normal man and his funny personality enough to win stunning women over—but the reverse is never true?
When pop music star, Noah Brewster, comes onto the show as its guest host, he and Sally immediately hit it off, and she begins to wonder, against all of her common sense, if they could be something more. But this is real life, not a rom-com. Experience—and reality—tell her that a guy like him would never date a girl like her. Right?
I said above that I’ll read anything Curtis Sittenfeld writes, and that’s still true. But I want these reviews to be both fair and honest. In all honesty, I was a little disappointed with this one. The prose is great, the banter is all there, and Sittenfeld’s ability to portray characters as real people you could bump into on the street is enviable. But I didn’t think the book’s structure did any favors to the plot or the will they-won’t they tension readers want to feel in romantic books. A huge portion of the book is emails between Sally and Noah, and I thought that format downgraded the story. When two characters are in dialogue, one of the pleasures of reading is seeing how one character reacts (either in words or inner thoughts), in real time, to what the other character says. Because it was in letter format, we didn’t get that.
Plus, as the emails went on, I felt like the big question (“Does Noah have feelings for her?!”) was answered in an anti-climactic way. And then for the rest of the book, we didn’t have that question anymore to keep us turning pages.
I will still read her next book, though! Overall an enjoyable read.
Photo by: Toa Heftiba