Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
especially welcome to extensive readers

Friday, August 04, 2006

Having another taste of Flavor of the Month

For those of us who can't afford to travel elsewhere during the brutal summer season, books are the next best thing to being away from your regular life. I've been reading several books at different paces but have had a yen for something old yet new which is my complicated way of saying that I've been indulging myself with Flavor of the Month by Olivia Goldsmith. Goldsmith was best known as the author of The First Wives' Club(the movie ,which starred Diane Keaton,Bette Midler and Goldie Hawn,was a rather dumbed down version of the book)and wrote several other female friendly titles such as Fashionably Late,Marrying Mom and my favorite,The Bestseller.

Flavor of the Month follows three actresses who are teamed together on a daring new TV show called Three For The Road(the book came out in the early 1990s)that's being directed by Marty DiGennaro,a Martin Scorsese type. Jahne Moore aka Mary Jane Moran used to be a overweight,plain 36 year old New York actress cheated out of starring in the film version of her hit play,no thanks to her writer/director boyfriend who ditched her for the Hollywood scene. Mary Jane gets a windfall after her mean grandmother dies and uses the cash for some major league plastic surgeory to become a gorgeous,slim girl who can easily pass for twenty-four.

Sharleen Smith fled the trailer park hell she and her brother Dean(who are way closer than a half brother and sister should be) were trapped in and a couple of dead bodies to boot,for better living in California. Guided by her bible and a naive but decently flexible set of morals,she literally gets discovered at a diner by an agent and awkwardly enters the Hollywood life,always looking over her shoulder in case her past decides to stop in for a chat.

Lila Kyle is the daughter of Theresa O'Donnell,a faded screen star,who tries to keep her away from an acting career but Lila(with the help of Aunt Robbie,an old family friend)hustles her way onto the new show and into Marty's affections. Of course,she doesn't like to be touched but she does love to be adored and dishes out the vicious bitch treatment to all and sundry.

The thing about Goldsmith's books were that even tho the plot material was in Jackie Collins territory,she never treated it like sexed-up soap operas. Olivia added some tongue in cheek bits of satire that let you in on the joke without being all "wink,wink,nudge-say no more!" about it. Her first author photos had her in a long blonde wig,striking the same kind of glam girl poses ladies like Danielle Steel were known for(later on,she ditched the wig). Also,she gave her readers some juicy insider info into certain industries-for example,in the hardcover edition of The Bestseller,reference is made to a "Dean Koontz audit". Seems that Koontz realized that his earlier publishers had ripped him off and he took them to court where the accounting books revealed alot of do-ri-me that had been siphoned off. This mention of Koontz's victory was left out of the paperback edition,...hmmm,wonder why?

Anyway,Flavor of the Month still holds some good fun twists and turns. Sad to say,Goldsmith passed away in 2004(her last two books were published posthumously)but her books have not gone into the mist just yet. I'm glad that I still kept hold of FOTM and The Bestseller(I know I have the hardcover stashed somewhere in my house)in my paperback library. Some books need to be in those"in case of emergency or mental stress-break glass" cases for hot,sweltering dogs days.


PJS said...

I was hoping the book was better, because I thought the movie was dumb and severely overrated.

I was so upset with Maggie Smith for being in it.

Didn't this authoress die from complications of cosmetic surgery, in one of those uber-ironic tragic twists?

lady t said...

Yes,she did-extreme levels of irony there. Such a shame on so many levels.

I completely forgot that Maggie Smith was in the FWC movie;guess it's one of those things that I mentally block out to keep my sanity going:)