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A Romance Made of Win
on March 19, 2012
Poor Johnny. Always a best man, never a groom. Sure, he's thirty-three, good looking, has a lot of friends, a loving family, his own business and home; he has a pleasant, fulfilling life. Romantically, though, there's not a lot going on. And as much as loving circle might like to seem him happily settled down, there's really no prospect on the horizon.
Baratz-Logsted has taken the traditional rom-com formula and made it about a guy. What was rather tired material becomes fresh and amusing when it's a guy trying to find love, following whatever Rules he can get. There is a hilarious poker night that devolves into a lecture on gender essentialism, which is immediately contradicted. There's nesting, and the quest for all the right elements to suggest "good husband material." There are, as well, poignant scenes about love over a long marriage, and at retirement age. There's even the Disney-mandated shopping makeover. But the opera, re-mixed from Pretty Woman, is the set piece of my heart.
Funny, sometimes slapstick, but warmly sympathetic to the characters, my only complaint about the book was that there wasn't more of it.