Sunday, April 11, 2021

Double Trouble in a Hollywood Marriage Novel

“He had tamped down for a long time, felt a slack of something, and it didn’t feel terrible, it felt hot and liquid, and if the feelings were to take a sentimental shape it was a very big shining question. The mark will be, ”writes Sweeney.

“Will she still have to accept a name she hated?

“Is she still in love with Julian?”

Does she have to get married?

“Did she want to?”

If this sounds like a promotional copy for a Netflix poster, well … success! Reading “Good Company”, I found myself mentally auditioning actors for the inevitable series. In fact, I never imagined myself to be more than a handful of real, real-time scenes, because the book doesn’t have all of that. Much of the first third of the novel is taken up with a back story. We see Flora struggling as a stage actor before working as a voice actor. We see Julian struggling with lukewarm love. In a “cute meet” so ridiculous that even the author of “Cedar” would probably cut it, we see David as a young doctor, attending Shakespeare in a Park performance after an actor collapses on stage. He compresses the chest in front of the stunned audience and, upon stabilizing the patient, Margot, in her fairy costume, is approached by Ether, who takes her hands in gratitude. The audience clapped.

In “The Nest”, a family saga about inheritance, Sweeney’s cliché and lean towards hallmark moments were characterized by the sharp edges and dark forces of at least some of the characters. “Good company” sometimes points in that direction. The woman involved in Julian’s betrayal is self-contradictory, even pathetic. The idea that such a person can wipe out so much sexual and emotional power is fascinating; I wanted more of her and a little less than Flora’s nice girl’s hand.

Likewise, the behind-the-scenes set of the “cedar” set brings moments of delicious satire. When Margot realizes that her character will be killed, a formidable but worried Doyne indulges her in a brainstorming session in the vein of the show’s creator, Shonda Rhimes, on what would make for the most arrogant demise. : “I’m giving it to you.” It would be so nice to kill everyone to get you hired. “

Sweeney is unusually adept at polishing Hollywood slowly. The way she describes “Cedar,” Griffith’s own description, perfectly, the animated music of “Griffith”, on which Flora eventually finds a lioness voicing in a steady, seemingly satisfying gig, Pitch Perfect. is. A show where pigeons were hunted due to typecasting and ageism to animals at Griffith Park Zoo as a metaphor for Hollywood actors? Beat someone immediately!

Meanwhile, “Good Company,” looking for things to do with its pre-scouted locations and fully rendered characters, is a promising piece of IP Sweeney or may have screenwriting ambitions, but I would like to see him in it. Would love to see you do something together. .

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