Novel Romance

Director: Emily Skopov

Sharply written (sometimes overly so) chick flick stars Traci Lords as Max Normane, a brainy fast-talking, highly successful editor known for her incredible taste and ability to transform mediocre writing into the stuff of legends in her literary magazine URBANITY. After realizing that her love life isn’t as easily controlled as the pages she can attack with her trusty red pen, she sets a peculiar plan in motion to have a baby by offering a decidedly indecent proposal to a young up-and-coming writer Jake Buckley (Paul Johansson) whom she will publish provided that he agree to not only her rewrites and editorial notes but also if he provides a much needed donation in her quest for artificial insemination. After a clumsy start that made Novel Romance feel like a Sex and the City version of a Lifetime or Oxygen network movie, the film becomes a surprisingly entertaining time-waster—a fluffy beach read from television series staff writer Emily Skopov set to film and while we’re never sure we’re in agreement (at any time) with Lords’ domineering perfectionist, it’s still a humorous concept to see a woman wielding power to demand a favor, which goes against the Pretty Woman, Indecent Proposal Can’t Buy Me Love (and the list goes on) mindset of American movies.