Saturday, March 10, 2012

Alaska Romance Novel Project: Chick Lit Edition

This edition we are going to go adventuring with an intrepid screen writer and an Ac-Tor in the wilds of Alaska. The heroine is better-than-average for a romance novel (Read: she is not a simpering idiot just waiting to be impregnated by the Right Man). The cover of this novel is a Scotty Dog, with a bow, leashed to a fricking shopping bag. Neither of which are part of this story*. To Wit:

Look at that shit. A terrible cover for an otherwise alright Graphic Swirler. I feel bad for the writer, Meggin Cabot.

*Crap. Jack's mom had a small lap dog. Well, I stand by my point that this dog is not important enough for the cover.


Anyhoodle, in this Fine Novel Alaska is a tertiary character rather than Front and Center. Lou Calabrese wrote the screenplay Hindenburg. It won her an Oscar. It was a brilliant success. She wrote it for her then boyfriend Bruno (nee Barry). Bruno ran off with his costar who was the paramour of Jack Townsend. Lou got her start writing something called Cop Killer, Jack's starring vehicle. Lou is from a family of cops and Jack is from Ye Olde Money.

They hate each other. Because of the age old Writer vs Actor feud. The Hatfield-McCoys of the smoggiest place on earth. Jack is a mosaic of Hollywood men. Imagine if you put: El Clooney, Mr. Gibson (pre cray-cray racist dayz), and Han Solo in a blender the resulting man-smoothie would be Jack Townsend. Lou is a redhead who dresses frumpy because she doesn't care. Lou always makes Jack do something awful and show his ass in every movie she writes for him. Revenge for his changing the catchphrase she came up with from Stupid to Merely Lame. FRICTION!

I like Lou. Ima say it right here. Heroines with pluck and their Own Minds are my catnip. Plus, she is constantly quoting movies. That, I can for sure get behind because I wouldn't have much to say without movie quotes.

So Jack and Lou are in a helicopter, flying out to the set in the wilds of Alaska. The pilot tries to kill Jack but Lou gets the better of pilot with a flare gun. (GO LOU). They they crash because of birds. (Fact: lots of bird-related plane crashes in the Last Frontier.) Jack hauls Lou away from the burning wreckage. Jack is tres impressed because: A) Lou doesn't cry; B) builds the fire and 3) shoots the bad guy off of a Snowmobile with the pilot's .38. Lou goes pretty far here, but it ain't all the way.

Lou and Jack run away from the Bad Men. Jack can't figure out why someone wants to kill him. Lou thinks it's because Jack Gets Around (he sleeps with everything). Finally, they arrive at a "Ranger Station" were they can dry off and warm up. They are totally not dressed for interior Alaska in winter. They both pass out after a fantastic meal of peanut brittle, saltines and Cutty Sark. Blended whiskey gets Lou around second, but nowhere near All the Way.

Now two famous people are missing so the family calvary comes a-riding up. Lou's retired cop father meets Jack's society mumsie on the flight to Anchorage. The director and other film-humans flit about. Blah. Whatevs.

Lou and Jack are off and running since someone found them at the "Ranger Station." Jack says something about Smokey and the Bandit before he jumps a gorge on a Ski-doo. That's when I liked Jack. Smokey and the Bandit rules the school. They crash, have to walk again, and spend some pages on fifth grade witty I-Like-You banter. Man, they have an awful lot of being attracted energy for two people ill-equipped for winter and Alaska. Finally they find a cabin. I'll call it the Cabin of All the Way.

This hunting cabin has both electricity and indoor plumbing. Shenanigans. Remote cabins are generally dry and may have a generator for limited power. For the Plot, though, it was important to have hot running water. That way, Lou could see Jack in a towel. See?

They eat some venison, drink some wine, chat. Then Jack gets, "Warm for her form," while Lou does the dishes. (Is this a thing anybody actually says?) Oh magical plot point Love Cabin that allows Lou to Go All the Way with Jack. Now, let's go All the Way back to Anchorage where Lou's dad, Frank, is hitting it off with Jack's mom, Eleanor. Septuagenarian Love B-story. Woot. Where's Dorothy Zbornak when you need a wise-cracking broad of a certain age.

So Jack and Lou ski down the road (?) from the cabin toward some sort of civilization. That civilization is a roadhouse called Bud's Bar. They call for help there. A sheriff meets them to haul them back to Alaska's largest town. Their story of running from the Bad Guys is straight up silly and the Law wants to know who would do such a thing. The most likely suspect is an Environmental Nut who was upset that the State of Alaska allowed the film makers to blow up a part of Mt. McKinley.

Let's let that sink in a minute. The State of Alaska permitted someone to blow up a part of Denali for a movie. I realize that this is make believe wrapped in a cover with a damn scotty dog on it. And there is running water at a remote cabin when a certain percentage of people living in the actual city of Fairbanks don't have running water (permafrost). But this takes the cake. Not that the government of Alaska doesn't prostitute its natural resources but this would be like the City of New York allowing someone to blow a point off of the Statue of Liberty's Crown. So extremely out of the galaxy of the Real World.

So Lou and Jack get back to town and there is Drama and whatnot with one of Jack's previous girlfriends. Even Barry comes up to A-town for some added relationship drama. Turns out the murder plotter (don't watch enough Law and Order to know the technical term) is the director. He was jealous because Jack used to be with the director's current wife.

They live happily ever after. With a story eerily similar to Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. Evoking Paul Newman is a sure-fire way to warm the cockles of my heart.

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