Staff Review: "Waiting for Tom Hanks"
Aspiring screenwriter Annie Cassidy loves romantic comedies. Growing up, she would watch the films relentlessly with her mom, dissecting scenes and deriving life advice from the characters and dialogue. As an adult, Annie can quote films like Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail by heart and aspires to write movies herself. But she’s also unlucky in love and incredibly picky, and she knows why – she’s waiting for Tom Hanks.
Annie’s not waiting for Tom Hanks literally, but rather, for a guy to come along that’s similar to the charismatic and charming men Hanks has played in various films. Basically, Annie wants her life to be just like a romantic comedy – she wants her own meet-cute (where two characters meet in a haphazard and memorable way), wants there to be an obstacle to overcome and wants a huge romantic gesture to solidify her happily ever after.
When a movie crew comes to Ohio to film scenes for a new romantic comedy, Annie lands a job as a personal assistant to the director. While on set, she clashes with Drew Danforth, a Chris Pratt-like actor who is the film’s male lead. Sparks fly between the two but Annie resists her attraction since Drew is nothing like the guy she’s been dreaming of. Her job on the movie, and a series of bad dates, cause Annie to reevaluate what she wants in life, both professionally and romantically.
This book was a quick, easy read and was, most of all, fun. Some aspects of the characters and storylines were clichéd, but so are characters and storylines in most romantic comedies. The familiarity and assurance of a happy ending are what make the format successful, and author Kerry Winfrey did the genre justice. It’s also interesting to see how the novel tackles the idea that while romantic comedies can be entertaining to watch, they can also skew a person’s realistic expectations of what a romantic partner or successful relationship should look like.