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Decidedly weird – clearly intentionally so but not always in a good way – this pretzel-shaped black comedy stars Lindy Booth as a successful literary novelist named Eryn Bellow, first encountered working the bookstore promotional circuit via chauffeured cars and first-class flights. She’s not so much accompanied as pushed from behind by her caustic agent Carrie (Fran Drescher, a proper hoot who manages to infuse an impressive amount of disdain into the pronunciation of the word “macchiato”).
But Eryn is blocked and can’t seem to land on a concept for her next book, the follow-up to The Chartreuse Misnomer, a name that in itself is a pretty good send-up of literary pretension. A bad-tempered spat with rival novelist Theo Mencken (Peter Bogdanovich) on a TV show precedes a strange diversion down a narrative rabbit hole that sees Eryn trying to live out scenes in another novelist’s book with sexual adventures with assorted guys (including Francis Lloyd Corby and Luke Guldan), Tinder stick-figures who end up all being part of some larger, even more bizarre meta narrative.
It’s all a bit baffling, a little too post-postmodern for its own good. Writer-director Jason Cook’s script is sprinkled with a fair few sparky one-liners and nifty concepts, and the cast are a treat. But then there’s a flat, low-budget visual aesthetic, and a syrupy coating of clarinet-led score that makes it sound like a cheap made-for-TV movie from the early 1990s. It’s as if the whole thing is what you’d get if John Barth (The Sot Weed Factor) or Robert Coover (Pricksongs & Descants) had got a gig to write a script for a lesser American cable channel and didn’t care how it turned out.
Source: The Guardian
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