Posts Tagged ‘dating’

Another evening, another Campbell Scott movie. In Roger Dodger he plays against type as Roger, a sleazy, womanising ad agency executive in NYC; the film opens with a short scene in a bar after which Roger is unceremoniously dumped by his girlfriend Joyce (Isabella Rossellini), who is also his boss. Shortly afterwards his awkward 16 year old nephew Nick turns up in the Big Apple looking for advice from his uncle on how to attract the ladies. What follows is a journey through a NY night out, where Roger introduces Nick to various women and imparts his own brand of wisdom on how to attract and treat ladies. Roger has no respect for women, or indeed for practically anyone. He proudly admits that his job is to make people feel bad about themselves so that they will buy into whatever he is advertising. He is basically an extremely charismatic bastard. He would be easy to hate, but there’s the thing – there are moments, just a few but enough, that you do feel sorry for him. He may not admit it to himself or to anyone else, but we can see that he IS hurt by Joyce finishing their relationship. Campbell Scott is fantastic in this movie because in the hands of a lesser actor, Roger would just be a very one-dimensional character, but there’s clearly more to him somewhere. Kudos also to Jesse Eisenberg, who embodies the nervous, slightly misfit teenager.

It’s a very talky film – lots of lots of dialogue and not an awful lot of action. Roger and Nick drift from scene to scene encountering different women but it’s really all about the words. If action is your thing then this might not be for you, but if you like dialogue-heavy films, then you may enjoy this. I also love films that take place over one night or over one short period of time, and this dilm does exactly that.

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After being dumped six times in a row, 28 year old Sass decides that dating and relationships aren’t worth the trouble and goes on a dating sabbatical, which means that she can’t date (obviously), kiss or flirt with men.  To her surprise she finds it enjoyable, and becomes more assertive and proactive in her life.  The only problem is the rather gorgeous and funny Jake, who Sass keeps running into and against all her own rules, finds very sexy.

Now, chicklit is not really my favourite genre, but I like it sometimes if I fancy a nice easy read.  However, this is the second book I’ve read by Gemma Burgess (although The Dating Detox was the first one to be published), and I have really enjoyed both of them.

Sass’s experience was less about waiting for any half-decent man to come along, and more about growing as a person and deciding what she wants from life.  The story is told in first-person present-tense, and Sass is an engaging and likeable narrator.  I also loved her totally believable friendships with best mates Bloomie and Kate, who are dealing with their own personal and professional problems.  The characters – Sass particularly – are very relatable.  We all know people like Bloomie and Kate.  (And yes, Jake is rather lovely!)

The story moves along nicely, with some genuinely funny moments.  It makes a pleasant change to read a book about dating and relationships, that also focuses on the positive side of being single and learning to stand on your own two feet.  It’s definitely aimed at female readers, and yes it is very ‘chicklitty’ but it’s fresh and pacy, and gave me lots to smile at.

(Author’s website can be found here.)

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Abigail Wood has just come out of a long relationship, and at 27 is facing the uncertain world of singledom.  She has no idea how to navigate the dating scene, but fortunately her flatmate is London lothario Robert, who teaches her the unofficial rules (be brutal, be bulletproof, be cool and detached).  Soon Abigail is having loads of dates and great fun – but at some point she’s going to meet her match, and what will she do then?

I really enjoyed this book, and having read it, now want to get hold of Gemma Burgess’s debut novel, The Dating Detox.

A Girl Like You starts with a short prologue, with a distraught Abigail in a hotel room in Hong Kong, sporting a black eye and clearly upset about something (although it isn’t until later that we find out what).  This taster of what was to come whetted my appetite and I was eager to see how the story got to that point.  The book then jumped back six months to when Abigail was going on her first date after the end of her relationship.

The book is told from Abigail’s point of view, which means that we get to know her character very well.  She is instantly recognisable – I felt that she could easily be someone I knew (and I’m sure many readers would be nodding with recognition at some of the things that Abigail did or said).  Certainly Abigail is the kind of person who we would like to be friends with – loyal, funny and clever, but also sometimes lacking in confidence, unsure of her career, sometimes acting without thinking.  She was a very believable and fleshed out character.

I also loved her circle of close friends – her dating mentor Robert, potty-mouthed Plum, sweet Sophie and funny Henry – again these were all characters who the reader could recognise in real life.

The book made me laugh out loud on a number of occasions, but it also had moments of introspection, sadness and realisation.  The whole speed dating episode had me giggling all the way through!  The author obviously has a quick wit, which comes through in the character of her narrator.

I would definitely recommend this book, and will certainly be looking for more to read by Gemma Burgess.

(I would like to thank Gemma for arranging for this book to be sent to me for review.  Gemma Burgess’s website can be found here.)

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