A Confederacy of Dunces meets The Player in an offbeat, sidesplittingly hilarious novel about making it against all odds in 1990s' Hollywood, by the co-writer/director of Dumb and Dumber.
When Henry Halloran's girlfriend dumped him, his Boston-based life suddenly seemed pointless. He was thirty-two with a dead-end job, and nothing on the horizon. There was obviously only one place to go: Hollywood.
The Comedy Writer is the story of how Henryarmed with nothing more than a few ideas, a nothing-to-lose attitude, and the desire to be a screenwriterjoins myriad hopefuls in the City of Angels and achieves an L.A. kind of fame. From the surreal squalor of his one-room pad at the Blue Terrace apartments, he encounters nympho starlets, death-obsessed Rollerbladers, philosophical midgets, scruple-free producers, and an unforgettably psychotic roommate named Colleen.
Combining the mordant wit and insight of Nathanael West with the lyricism and irony of a postmodern Candide, The Comedy Writer is a bawdy romp around and through the dream factory, in which Henry learns that while talent and integrity may be relative terms, life does, after all, have meaning.
Sure to appeal to anyone who has ever dreamed of Hollywood success, who has found him- or herself a full-fledged adult without a clue for the future, or who ever thought Los Angeles might represent the end of modern civilization, The Comedy Writer is an incomparable comic tour de force marked by the kind of telling detail only a true insider can provide.
At 33, Henry Halloran has had enough. His girlfriend has dumped him, and his job as a salesman in Boston is unfulfilling, so he chucks it all and heads to Hollywood to make it as a screenwriter. That's the high concept in this amusing but superficial writer-goes-to-movieland tale set in the early 1990s. Halloran's a regular guy: he drinks beer, shoots hoops, ogles large-breasted women, worries about his virility. But he has a dream; his toughmindedness and honesty open doors and he lands an agent. Farrelly, the screenwriter and director who brought us Kingpin and Dumb and Dumber and the novel Outside Providence introduces his hero to a motley collection of seedy West Coast types: a busty nympho neighbor, a psychotic producer, a dwarf psychiatrist and, most important, a mysterious suicide and her surviving sister, an endearingly hopeless basket case who attaches herself to Halloran, inveigles herself into his bed and makes his life miserable. She's an nightmare Holly Golightly for the '90s. Farrelly's taste for slapstick and scatological humor will either delight or offend, according to the reader's taste. Oddly (considering Halloran's screenwriting talent), this first-person narrative reads like a diary or a theme paper called "What I did in L.A." The snappy one-liners amuse us without interesting us in the guy who makes them up. (May)