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This frolic by Heller (Female Intelligence) may be the spiritual descendant of Freaky Friday, but she delivers her story in fresh language, with singular energy. Stacey Reiser comes to Hollywood to become an actress. It also doesn't hurt that L.A. is far both from her native Cleveland and from Helen Reiser, a feisty, 66-year-old know-it-all widow who's marvelous as a walk-on in your life but impossible as a mother. But Helen ups and moves to L.A., too, the better to nag 34-year-old Stacey about her split ends and unmarried state. Through a cascade of events that begins with a bone in a can of tuna and one of Helen's legendary complaint letters to the corporate office, Helen ends up where Stacey always wanted to be: the rich and famous star of a commercial and the darling of the talk-show circuit. She even has a dashing suitor, Victor Chellis, with a fully staffed estate in Beverly Hills. Naturally, Helen's whirlwind ascendancy takes place just as Stacey's career tanks. Reviewing her performance opposite Jim Carrey in Pet Peeve, almighty movie critic Jack Rawlins tells his TV audience that Stacey has the "subtlety of a sledgehammer." Stacey rapidly becomes the old Helen, nagging Mom about her wardrobe and the dubious Victor. Only Stacey's acting talent and a nail-biting car chase can restore mother and daughter to their proper roles. It's spirited, effortless entertainment with a winning premise and plenty of references to Hollywood stars and the latest TV shows.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Heller writes the kind of uncomplicated and popular novels that make it onto lists like "People's Beach Book of the Week." Here, in the former book publicist's tenth novel, we meet Stacey Reiser, a struggling Hollywood actress. Nearly 35 years old, Stacey is still plugging away waiting for her big break, in the meantime making do with commercials and part-time retail jobs. Her love life is sorely lacking, and on top of all that, her nosey, loud-mouthed, interfering mother, Helen, has just moved to Hollywood to be closer to her. Things only grow worse when Helen finds a bone in a can of tuna and writes a nasty letter to the tuna fish company. The company invites her to their cannery for a visit, and the abrasive and plainspoken Helen is soon offered a starring role in the company's new ad campaign. Meanwhile, Stacey's career continues to tank. What's more, Helen now has a boyfriend, while Stacey continues to have man troubles. This is light reading at its finest. Kathleen Hughes
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Having read Ms. Heller's Best Enemies and Name Dropping, I had high hopes for this book. I like her style of writing: romance/comedy/mystery all in one. Read morePublished on July 11 2004
I have read Hellers books before and have loved them so I was anxious to read this one as well. I really enjoyed the first half of the book dealing with the mother - daughter... Read morePublished on July 8 2004
Having read several of Heller's novels, I was looking forward to reading Lucky Stars. However, I found it to be a disappointment: the dialogue was contrived, the characters were... Read morePublished on June 20 2004
This book was amusing in a Jane Heller kind of way. However, it wasn't quite as good as her usual fare.
Helen started out so annoying that I couldn't care less about her. Read more
This book written by Jane Heller is passably entertaining. It reminds me of a made for T.V. romantic comedy. Read morePublished on July 20 2003