Monday, March 11, 2013

The Sexiest Man Alive by Diana Holquist

Skeptic scale: ♥♥
Channing Tatum. Wait...We're talking about sexy men, right? Yeah. So... Channing Tatum. I think we've seen all we need to here. Just move along to the bottom - the rest is just filler.

The story centers around an H who needs to prove to the world/himself that he is a good actor and not just a Hollywood pretty-boy and he arranges to act on The Stage as Romeo. However, he doesn't want the rest of the cast/crew/audience to realize it's him or they won't take him seriously. The h, a seamstress and costume designer is called upon to create disguises for him so he can hide his true identity. I outline my many issues with this story below but its redeeming feature was the writing which was saved me from flinging my kindle out the window onto the weird dude who's always sitting on my stoop listening to his Walkman from 1984.

He: Hot hunk o' burnin' love, Hollywood star, and man with a need to help others and penchant for leaving oversized tips for wait staff after overhearing their tales of money woe.

She: A neurotically shy seamstress who is pathologically scared of handsome men, or actually any man.

Conflict: She's scared of everything/everyone - especially handsome men, he's too handsome and famous... you get it.

Issues that seriously undermine the story that could easily have been solved by 3-second plot modifications by the author:

1) If you need to disguise a person in real life, would you not need a makeup artist? Why the HELL would you make her character a costume designer? Unless he's going about in full on Mickey mouse regalia, it seems that he wants someone to help disguise his handsome FACE.

2) If he needs to prove his worth as an actor, could he not have chosen a couple of meatier roles in Hollywood films? He's reportedly a popular star... seems a stretch to think that he's had to resort to these types of hi-jinks to prove he's good enough. Ok, even if you do want to be on The Stage, wouldn't you still be able to prove your salt if you just acted well? It's not like he would only get a pretty-boy* role in a play right?

Other issues:

1) WHY would it make sense for a person so nice and handsome and wonderfully awesome to go for someone so painfully shy that she can't look a person in the eye long enough to complete a job interview. Why can't these characters be at least somewhat grounded in reality?

2) I cannot read a Hollywood-themed romance. Sorry. Just can't do it. The Skepto-meter is just off the charts for these Hollywood types and I can't suspend disbelief that much. I mean, in the face of overwhelming, very public evidence that these things are mostly doomed from the start, you expect me to believe that THIS H & h with their attending baggage and weirdities can make a go of it?? I. Don't. Think. So.

*Speaking about pretty boys actors - I just knew Channing Tatum was brilliant even when he did pretty-boy roles such as his seminal work - Step Up, where he played a troubled Baltimore youth who BREAKS IT DOWN with some snazzy hip-hop and classical dance moves. This was before his transcendent rise to A (or at least B) list stardom that recently resulted in another classic - Magic Mike, where he also BREAKS IT DOWN - this time a little less clothed. Grrr. So yeah... what was I saying again? Never mind.

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