Monday, March 31, 2014
Review: Love Like the Movies by Victoria Van Tiem
In this irresistible romantic romp, movie fanatic Kensington Shaw is thrown into love—Hollywood-style—when her gorgeous ex presents a series of big screen challenges to win back her heart.
What girl wouldn’t want to experience the Pretty Woman shopping scene? It’s number two on the list. Or, try the lift from Dirty Dancing? It’s number five. One list, ten romantic movie moments, and a handful of shenanigans later, Kenzi has to wonder . . . should she marry the man her family loves, or risk everything for a love like the movies?
Goodreads | Author | Amazon
Source: Purchased – thanks to Tales of Whimsy for this recommendation (love her review!)
If you are a fan of romantic comedies, this book is a must read. It IS a rom-com, in literary form.
Kenzi has a perfectly fine life. A gorgeous fiancé, a great job and friends but she still feels second rate when it comes to her family. She hopes to finally take the spotlight with her engagement announcement but is once again out shined by her perfect sister-in-law, who has even bigger news.
Trying to find solace in work, Kenzi instead finds her job at the ad agency on the line due to budget cuts. She needs to land an important new client, who also happens to be her first great love and heartbreak, Shane Bennett . He requests that she act out 10 great romantic movie moments with him as inspiration for his new dinner/movie theater themed business to win the account.
Love Like the Movies is adorable and sweet. I enjoyed how the scenes from the movies were acted out within the context of the story, even though I had forgotten many of them. But I recognized several, including the dressing room scene from Pretty Woman, a few from My Best Friend’s Wedding and the infamous lift from Dirty Dancing.
I also enjoyed how the reappearance of Shane made Kenzi start to question her choices in life. In her quest for the "big movie" moments, she's lost touch with what is real and the things that used to make her happy. He’s never pushy or overbearing, just a constant supportive presence, and reminder of her potential.
Kenzi could be frustrating at times. She is so hell bent on trying to live in this fantasy movie world and is a complete doormat to her fiancé and family. When she finally starts coming around, she pushes the one person on her side, Shane, away - then complains if he doesn’t follow her.
To be fair, this is pretty standard rom-com fare though. EVERY heroine does this and it's mixed with enough character growth that it works here. What's more important is that Kenzi learns that she needs to trust herself to be happy. Not to depend on anyone else's approval. That's a message I can get behind!
I wish Shane was developed more as her love interest. We do get some conversation and backstory to them as a couple before but not enough, IMO, to to explain Shane's actions in the past or his return now after seven years. They had a nice, relaxed chemistry, and their movie scene reenactments reveal a lot about them as a couple though so I was able to buy into their romance anyway.
Like all great rom -coms, things spiral out of control for our heroine. Hilarity and slightly exaggerated, madcap scenarios ensue. There's a mystery to solve, betrayals, broken hearts and just maybe a happily ever after, like in the movies. Although this book is inspired by the best romantic comedies, I can totally see it being made into one of it's own. Love like the Movies was a great homage the genre!