Friday, February 15, 2008

They Like Me; They Really Like Me...

Author Christina Hamlett ("Movie Girl") has written a beautifully eloquent review of "Stars of their Eyes" on her blog, managing to hit on quite a few details I hoped would not just be glossed over due to the "chick lit" label.

Christina says: "In her debut novel – “Stars In Their Eyes” – author Danielle Turchiano paints an accurate picture of the film industry’s superficiality and the adage that a star is only as good as his or her most recent production. Her protagonist, Courtney Primm, is a soap opera actress who is desperate in her quest to be taken seriously by making the leap from a small screen to a big silver one. Her assistant and best friend, Leah Conroy, is just as committed to scarfing up La-La land perks, achieving fame-by-attachment, and bedding any available male within a 20’ radius. Leah has charmingly mastered the art of the con and, at times, is the more watchable of the pair.

Throughout this read, I was reminded of the plethora of sitcom stars who continue to attempt exactly what Courtney is doing – making a leap to a bigger platform. The rationale that being adored by audiences in prime time is an automatic guarantee of success at the box office fails to address that – for the majority of them – their talent is only sustainable in the context of an ensemble that meets weekly and exchanges witty banter with one another. Place them against a bigger backdrop and they still seem to play the same characters; the only thing missing is for their sitcom families and five best friends to walk through the door and join them. While Courtney has more of a moral center and a vulnerability than Leah, it’s hard to imagine her finding any more success than she has already achieved at the fictional “Chateau Pacific”. The reason we root for her is because she finally has the chance to find contentment – a rarity, it seems, in the glamorous world that Turchiano bring to life for us through her wonderful imagery and familiarity with the SoCal entertainment scene.

The formatting of “Stars In Their Eyes” is written in the vein of a treatment as opposed to a traditional novel. On the one hand, this is a very clever marketing strategy for pitching the book to prospective producers. On the other hand, I would like to have seen this written from a more traditional approach and with more evenly paced “chapters”. There are unexplored layers of these characters that were hinted at but not fully developed and I think a longer version could address these. Turchiano has a great gift for snappy one-liners and references to pop culture that are priceless."

You can find the whole review here.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

Great review - congrats! :-)