Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Is editing a romantic profession?

I don't often do film reviews, but I have to mention something I watched the other night on DVD. Billed as a "sleek, sassy romantic comedy", Suburban Girl had, for me at least, a fascinating occupational setting - the world of book editing and publishing.

The film stars Sarah Michelle Gellar and Alec Baldwin as a pair of generation-bridging lovers - a young woman with a much older man. Gellar plays a lowly Associate Editor in a small publishing company while Baldwin is the Editor-in-Chief of a much bigger publishing house. Gellar spends much of the film poring over typed manuscripts, scribbling notes to authors and writing reports for her managers. The film itself is interrupted by "editorial" comments to the audience, introducing different chapters of the story.

Gelllar is not the only actor whose subsequent career has risked being overshadowed by a long-running successful TV role, but she is good enough her as the innocent from out of town to make you almost forget the vampires in her past. She is at her best when her character gets embarassingly drunk at a literary party.

Baldwin plays the successful unmarried man with a photo album full of previous lovers who treats his women badly. Not an entirely likeable character, but I found him more the more believable actor.

Overall, I'm afraid the film itself didn't really succeed for me, as the plot was very thin and the dramatic development of Gellar's character was weak and not entirely convincing.

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