You know the story but you’ve never heard it told like this before! In Lynn Messina’s modern update of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, all of the characters you either love or hate are accounted for, with a bit of a twist. Bennett Bethle and Darcy Fitzwilliam are at odds the minute they meet at Longbourn, the New York museum where Bennett works. Bennett’s brother, John, also works at the museum and is immediately smitten when he meets heiress Charlotte “Bingley” Bingston. I’m sure you can imagine where the story is headed. Let’s just say that pushy aunts, irresponsible siblings, and an anxious employer hardly help to make the course of true love run smooth for these two sets of couples. Once I was able to get the gender-bending characters straight, I rather enjoyed this clever story and found myself wondering just how Ms Messina was going to pull off the inevitable ending. This was a fun, well-done telling of a classic. (LEK)
In this modern-day take on Dickens' classic Bleak House, New York author Ricki Carstone quits the humdrum of her job to move to glamorous Hollywood to wait for her debut novel to be adapted into a movie. The young paralegal has churned out a workplace comedy, Jarndyce & Jarndyce, by recording the squabbling at her office. Her Hollywood film agent assures her that the book is on its way to becoming a blockbuster with the most famous (read: infamous) teen star on the face of the earth starring as the protagonist. Blinded by the rosy picture painted by her film agent, Ricki quits her job and moves out to LA where she bumps into Harry Skimpole at the relaunch party of her book. The out-of-work actor, as his name suggests, skimps at the glossy parties, networking his way to stardom and acts as Ricki's guide into the bizarre and frustrating maze of movie making. Ricki's neighbour, Simon, an ex-screenwriter who claims to be have "been there and experienced that", warns her against clinging too much to the hope that her story will make it into a movie theatre someday. But Ricki is getting carried away by the limelight and has her heart (and bank account) shattered on a weekly basis. The plot delves into Ricki's pursuit of happiness as she holds on to a dream even when the odds are all stacked against her. Sometimes I found it frustrating that she refused to see sense and made one bad decision after another. And after all that dragging, the end seems a little rushed. (PD)
Vig Morgan, associate editor at Fashionista magazine, is drawn into a plot to get rid of tyrant editor Jane McNeill. With the help of a reclusive social editor, an overambitious assistant and a controversial artist, the plan successfully unfolds but Vig may be better off with the devil she knows.