Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Staff Picks: Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld


Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld 

During rehearsal week on the set of a late night comedy show, a sketch writer bonds with the guest host and musical guest. The pair share laughs and lingering glances while fine-tuning song parodies and satirical skits. Even though Sally enjoys spending time with Noah, she can't imagine herself dating a rock star. 

Noticing a celebrity trend, Sally composes a skit that hits close to home about one of the show's writers dating a glamourous actress. In real life, Danny Horst always seems to be dating women out of his league, and the skit, called "The Danny Horst Rule," seems to be comedy gold. 

But as Saturday night nears, the lovely actress begins dropping hints about ditching poor Danny Horst. Still, there's a live television production scheduled to air, and everyone knows the show must go on. Danny's public breakup dampens the mood of the afterparty, where Sally—reluctant to be viewed as the "Danny" half of a couple—deflects Noah’s attempts to get to know her better. 

Two years later, Sally receives an unexpected email from the rock star. With the entertainment industry on an indefinite hiatus during the Covid-19 pandemic, Sally and Noah begin a long distance email correspondence and reveal that they've both been hoping to reconnect. 

With limited physical interaction and a focus on modern dating, celebrity culture, and emotional baggage, Romantic Comedy may appeal to more fans who don't typically read romance novels than those that do. The story also focuses on sexism, social media, and the stress of pandemic isolation. 

Saturday Night Live viewers will especially enjoy reading about the pitch meetings, show prep, and rehearsals for The Night Owls, the fictional television show that the book revolves around. Though Curtis Sittenfeld never worked for SNL, she obviously conducted plenty of research on the show.  

Stage, television, and voice-over performer Kristen Sieh voices the audiobook version of Romantic Comedy and gives added depth to Sally's unique combination of smart, observant humor, professional confidence, and emotional insecurity.  

Alicia Cavitt
Information Specialist

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