Romantic Comedy

Curtis Sittenfeld

Romantic Comedy
Transworld Publishers Ltd
United Kingdom
26 March 2024

Romantic Comedy

Curtis Sittenfeld

Life is (not)* a Romantic Comedy...

After a series of heartbreaks, Sally Milz - successful script writer for a legendary late-night TV comedy show - has long abandoned the search for love.

But when her friend and fellow writer begins to date a glamorous actress, he joins the growing club of interesting but average-looking men who get romantically involved with accomplished, beautiful women.

Sally channels her annoyance into a sketch, poking fun at this 'social rule'. The reverse never happens for a woman.

Then Sally meets Noah, a pop idol with a reputation for dating models. But this isn't a romantic comedy - it's real life.

Would someone like him ever date someone like her?

Skewering all our certainties about why we fall in love, Romantic Comedy is a witty and probing tale of how the heart will follow itself, no matter what anyone says. It is Curtis Sittenfeld at her most sharp, daring and compassionate best.


After a failed ‘starter marriage’ and a few other heartbreaks, Sally Milz has given up on love. Instead, she has thrown herself into her career as a sketch writer for the popular late-night live comedy show, The Night Owls (think Tina Fey and SNL). When Danny Horst, fellow writer, slob and average looking at best, begins dating a bombshell actress, Sally writes a sketch called the ‘Danny Horst Rule’ to point out how average men can pull much hotter and successful women but it never happens the other way around. But then Noah Brewster, pop star and absolute heartthrob with a reputation for dating models, is the guest-host on TNO and Sally finds herself infatuated with him. But the ‘Danny Horst Rule’ exists for a reason, he’d never like her, right?

Sally is realistic and incredibly relatable. She shows frustration at the double standards society has for men and women, yet often begrudgingly conforms to the societal expectations herself. It’s a fascinating exploration of how women in their 30s can struggle between their feminist beliefs and the patriarchal world views they were raised on.

Although it’s been three years now since the pandemic first began, I still feel strange reading about it in books. A whole 70 pages of the book is written as emails between Sally and Noah during isolation in 2020. Initially, I thought I would battle through the correspondence, but Sittenfeld’s witty and emotional writing kept me engaged the entire time.

Romantic Comedy has all the hallmarks of a classic Curtis Sittenfeld, but with a lighter edge. It will have you laughing, cringing and swooning. You won’t be able to put it down.

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