Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Imagine Me and You-Billy Mernit

Imagine Me and You
Billy Mernit
Shaye Areheart (Crown), Apr 2008, $23.00
ISBN: 0307395375

In Los Angeles screenwriter and instructor Jordan is upset that his wife Isabella left him, but not worried about her returning to him as he has developed the perfect plan. His scheme is simply to build on his spouse’s jealousies, which will have her running home ASAP.

Since Jordon knows he cannot actually cheat, he must create a girlfriend; as a screenwriter he figures on writing a character for the script. He models his imaginative girlfriend after a former student Naomi. After he begins placing evidence of a lover, Naomi shows-up. There is one problem with her; no one besides Jordan sees or hears her. Confused by Naomi pushing Jordan to come clean with what he really wants and struggling with keeping his web of lies from imploding, Jordan assumes nothing can get worse; however this is not a Hollywood script as his wife and the real Naomi come to town.

Although the story line gets overwhelmed at times by the overkill of advanced screenwriting 401, IMAGINE ME AND YOU is an amusing tale that lampoons Hollywood stereotypes especially the romantic comedy images. Jordan is a fascinating lead character as he struggles between make believe and reality leading to the three women (the two Naomi’s and Isabella) in and out and maybe in or out of his life. He simply lives life as the star of a romantic comedy in which Cary Grant plays him and Katherine Hepburn plays Isabella with him getting the girl at the end. Overall fun to read in spite of too much insider screenwriting slowing down the plot, Billy Mernit satirizes the romantic comedy.

Harriet Klausner

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