Length: 320 pages
Audiobook Length: 14 hours
First Published: 2023
Comedy writer Sally Milz has given up on finding love, channeling herself into her work writing for a television late-night live comedy show. When her average-looking male coworker starts dating a celebrity, Sally decides to write a sketch about how that would never happen for an average-looking woman. As she works on the sketch with Noah Brewster, this week’s pop music host, she realizes that sparks are flying and her life is looking more and more like a romantic comedy.
Romantic Comedy is a light and cute read that started off well but fails to keep your interest. I loved the setup of Sally and Noah working together at an SNL-style sketch comedy show. However, the book takes a hard turn in the second section, with over 100 pages of pandemic email correspondence that was hard to get into. To make matters worse, once Sally and Noah meet again in person, all the tension completely disappears, making the inevitable happily-ever-after less satisfying.
Sally Milz is a sketch writer for The Night Owls, a late-night live comedy show that airs every Saturday. With a couple of heartbreaks under her belt, she’s long abandoned the search for love, settling instead for the occasional hook-up, career success, and a close relationship with her stepfather to round out a satisfying life.
But when Sally’s friend and fellow writer Danny Horst begins dating Annabel, a glamorous actress who guest-hosted the show, he joins the not-so-exclusive group of talented but average-looking and even dorky men at the show—and in society at large—who’ve gotten romantically involved with incredibly beautiful and accomplished women. Sally channels her annoyance into a sketch called the Danny Horst Rule, poking fun at this phenomenon while underscoring how unlikely it is that the reverse would ever happen for a woman.
Enter Noah Brewster, a pop music sensation with a reputation for dating models, who signed on as both host and musical guest for this week’s show. Dazzled by his charms, Sally hits it off with Noah instantly, and as they collaborate on one sketch after another, she begins to wonder if there might actually be sparks flying. But this isn’t a romantic comedy—it’s real life. And in real life, someone like him would never date someone like her . . . right?
With her keen observations and trademark ability to bring complex women to life on the page, Curtis Sittenfeld explores the neurosis-inducing and heart-fluttering wonder of love, while slyly dissecting the social rituals of romance and gender relations in the modern age.