Desert Isle Keeper
In Romantic Comedy, Sally Milz is a writer for The Night Owls (TNO) a fictional version of Saturday Night Live (SNL). We get a peek behind the scenes as the cast members put together a show full of comedy sketches. This is a very funny book; I found myself laughing along as Sally and the TNO cast are working together on the sketches and as they open their hearts and take chances on love.
Sally is someone I want to be friends with. She’s in her mid-thirties, clever, divorced, a little cynical, and writes some really funny skits for the show. She sees her friend and fellow writer, Danny, an average looking guy, start to date a famous and incredibly hot actress, and he’s not the only one. There have been at least two other average guys at the show who have dated and even married famous, beautiful women (which the author said was inspired by Pete Davidson). Sally pokes fun by writing a skit that she calls “The Danny Horst Rule” where men date women out of their league but the same does not hold true for the women.
But then, much to Sally’s surprise, she feels sparks of chemistry between her and this week’s TNO host, the handsome Noah Brewster, a pop star in his late-thirties who had his first big hit when he was a teen. She senses a connection while they work on one of his sketches. He is impressed by Sally’s writing and her intelligence and she is impressed by how down to earth he is. But Sally is insecure and has a hard time believing someone like Noah could fall for someone like her. (On a side note, I had fun trying to guess who some of the characters are based on, for example, Sally reminded me of Tina Fey.)
One of the sketches that had me laughing hard was called Blabbermouth, which has a feminist edge as most of Sally’s skits do, and is a singing competition like The Voice where the male coaches accuse the female coach (think Kelly Clarkson) of talking too much but then spend so much time talking about it, she can’t get a word in edgewise.😊 It was wonderful to read about the buildup to the live show, and show itself with the skits, musical performances and after parties.
The book is divided into three chapters and the first covers Noah’s week at TNO.
The second chapter takes place during the pandemic when TNO has shut down. Sally is going crazy alone in her New York apartment and goes back to the Midwest to stay with her stepdad, Jerry and his sweet dog, Sugar. Noah is in LA and after recovering from Covid, finds that he’s lonely and is still thinking about Sally. He emails her, she emails him back, and this chapter is solely their humorous, witty and relatable email correspondence.
We discover that Noah has some of his own struggles with a tragic backstory and Sally learns that there is more to him, but that the man he is now is as perfect as he seems, very caring and thoughtful, plus he’s really into Sally.
In the third chapter, Sally is still wary and insecure but decides to visit Noah at his sprawling mansion in LA. They talk for hours, watch movies, go for hikes, and finally succumb to the sparks that have been flying between them.
One of the things I appreciated is that there is no big misunderstanding or third act break-up in the story. There’s no evil manager trying to break them apart. There are some challenges for them to work through. Sally’s work with TNO is on the east coast while Noah’s music is on the west coast. Sally has to work through her low self-esteem. Noah is equally intimidated by Sally’s intelligence as she is by his looks and fame. The cost of celebrity is another hurdle Sally had to be ready to overcome,. l wanted to see how they would make it all happen.
When Sally has a crisis, Noah proves he’s there for her in the way that counts most. One of the things I didn’t care for was Sally’s conversations about bodily functions, which got to be a bit much at times, but her witty banter made up for it. There are some wonderful side characters like her two friends, Viv and Henrietta, who are famous actors on TNO, especially Viv, who we get to see date and find love as a celebrity. This book is a feel good story and I recommend it, especially if you are a fan of SNL.
Kayne Spooner is a retired science teacher, dog owner, and proud grandma who lives in beautiful Colorado. While she's an avid reader of all genres, romances have always swept her off her feet. Kayne gravitates toward stories with humor, swoon-worthy love interests, and memorable furry sidekicks, although really, if there's a happy ever after, she's here for it! She loves sharing her passion for books with the romance community and connecting with fellow readers. https://www.instagram.com/kspoonerfish/.
|Review Date:||May 26, 2023|
|Book Type:||Contemporary Romance|
I’ve enjoyed her other books but can’t say I’m a SNL fan (nothing against them, just not really my thing) so I have hesitated to try it not sure it’s for me. I might give it a try though!
Just out of curiosity: Would this novel, in fact Sitterfeld’s entire oeuvre, fall in ‘fanfic’ category? I read a long time ago, her Laura Bush novel. I wasn’t aware of fanfic then, Now, thinking back, it could be called fanfic.
What a fun question! I haven’t read any other Sittenfeld books but I read an interview in Variety where she said while the characters in Romantic Comedy might resemble real people, she gave them fictional personalities. I could see the first chapter being described as fan fiction, where we see behind the scenes at TNO, but I think Chapters two and three are more of a tribute to RomCom films. Sittenfeld described it as an inverted Notting Hill. I would be interested to know what you think if you end up reading the book..
At 74 years old, SNL has been part of my life for a long time! I liked this book not only for the romance which I thought was very good, but also for all the behind the scenes look at what it takes to create this genre of TV show. It is very funny in parts as well.
I agree. Sometimes I listen to the Fly on the Wall podcast from David Spade and Dana Carvey about their days at SNL but this book shed new light on what it takes to put the show on.
I’ve seen this on the best-sellers lists and shelves and wondered about it. Thanks for reviewing it! It sounds like a fun, light read.
I was given this book as a Mother’s Day present. I also saw that it’s a Reese’s Book Club book. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did:)
On my TBR pile!