Author: Izzy Church
Publication Date: 25 August, 2015
ANGRY MOVIE GUY is romantic comedy about a struggling film critic who decides to take on a bad attitude to achieve fame and success as the Angry Movie Guy. When his review destroys the career of a woman he's fallen in love with he must rethink his life. Can he mend his hateful ways and win her heart?
~ Excerpt ~
No one seems to understand my dilemma. Ever since the day I met her, my life has been falling apart right in front of my eyes. I am engulfed in a deluge of memories, both good and bad.
At first, it was only at night. I’d wake up shivering in a cold sweat; feeling like a worm had just tunneled it’s way through every quadrant of my brain, awakening memories I never knew existed. Then this nothingness burrowed its' way into my every waking hour. I would be getting ready for work and burst out into a fit of tears for no apparent reason. I kept thinking... it’s got to be a phase? I tried meditating, going to the gym, sleeping in, I even gave tofu a try. Nothing worked!
In short, I was going out of my mind! Then the hallucinations and apparitions started. I began seeing her walking down the street and of course I started following her. Eventually one day I followed her into a café trying not to appear as creepy as I felt. I ordered a black cup of coffee and tapped her on the shoulder, not having a clue what I should say to her should she succumb to my wishes and turn around. She turned and looked over her shoulder at me, but she was no longer my Evie Greene, she had transformed into my late aunt Hilda! I dropped my cup of coffee and let out a loud scream darting out of the café. I scurried back to my apartment and hid under the covers like I had when I was ten- years old. Only this time it wasn’t the loss of my mother I was trying to cope with. This was much worse. I was seeing things. I pondered. Could I have imagined her all along? Could this woman whom I had briefly met have changed my life and be nothing more than a figment of my desperate imagination…an optical delusion?
That afternoon I went in to see my therapist Dr. Bloom and asked him if he would prescribe something for my “neurotic psychosis.” In his very loud droning Jewish accent Dr. Bloom tried to console me.
“Charlie, none of it matters: the past, the present, or the future, if you can’t find a way to be happy with the person you are.”
I replied, “What if you don’t know who you are?”
“Nonsense!” he said. “You are a successful movie critic Charlie. People from all around the world tune into watch your reviews even though without fail you trash every one of the movies you review. You have a big house, a fancy car, a yacht, and I’m assuming from the rates you pay me, a very healthy bank account. Look Charlie, you are not the type of person who should be spending his free time in therapy or chasing imaginary tail. And
yet, you are. And you want to know why you are?”
I paused, I wasn’t really sure I did want to know?
My therapist snorted. “I’ll tell you why Charlie. It’s simple... you like to suffer! You are here because you haven’t learned how to let go. You cling to those negative memories of yours like they are your uniform just so you can keep digging them up at a later date and re-visit them all over again.”
I scoffed. “That’s not true!”
“Oh yes it is,” he replied. “So why don’t you just do us all a favor and give up this old routine of yours?”
“Okay,” I said. Although I wasn’t really sure what he was referring too? So I asked him, “How do you suppose I go about doing that?”
“It’s simple Charlie, I want you to go home and start rummaging through some old photo albums. Your past shit, excuse me, I mean your buried memories can't hurt you Charlie when you simply learn to let them go. Now once you've finished going down memory lane why don't you pop a bag of jiffy pop and watch that movie you talked about so much. What’s the name of it?”
“Lost in Her Eyes,” I responded.
“Yes, that’s the one, re-visit it.... in fact re-visit every movie you’ve ever loved until you remember what it feels like to be happy again. As my Rabbi likes to say, “Success is not always the key to Happiness, but Happiness is the key to Success!”’’ Dr. Bloom smiled at me and then yawned as he looked down at his watch and rubbed the top of it. “Well, unfortunately it looks like our time is up here Charlie, but I feel confident that our new therapy strategy will resolve some of your underlying issues.”
“That’s it!” I scoffed. “I came to you hallucinating and you want me to go home and rummage through old photo albums and watch movies?”
My therapist stood up. “That’s right Charlie. I see a breakthrough coming your way. In fact, I am so sure of it that I’m going to go ahead and pencil you in for next week at this same time and let you come back and tell me how much my therapy has helped you.”
Holy bonanzas! I thought to myself, He’s lost his mind! For the first time in six years I left Dr. Bloom's office thinking this guy is a bigger bamboozler quack job than I am! How in the hell could watching old movies and looking at photo albums of my childhood, which I hated, help me? Needless to say, when I arrived home and started to walk down memory lane I was rather annoyed.
After mulling over the matter, I finally capitulated to Dr. Bloom’s advice and set up the projector, which already had some old family slides loaded in the projector tray. The hot white light illuminated the blank white screen as I turned the machine on. I sat down and tried to advance the first slide, but it was jammed. “What the hell is the problem now?” I mumbled “Can’t just one thing go right today?” I fiddled with the projector while puffing on an expensive Cuban cigar given to me by some dreadful filmmaker who had hoped his kind gesture might alter my normal scorching review, although he was sadly mistaken. Plumes of smoke filled the room clouding the image of me as an awkward looking newborn in a crib. I waved the smoke out of my face as I stared at the nostalgic image of myself projected on the wall. It was an aging photo of me sitting on a brand new red tricycle with my mother Evelyn standing proudly beside me. I sighed aloud and mumbled to myself in a sarcastic self-loathing tone. “Look at me all fresh and new ready for endless possibilities! Full of promise!” I clicked on the projector and a new image of me appeared on the screen as a goofy looking toddler clutching onto my mother’s hand. “Okay, a little less promise here... cut the cord already kid!” I clicked again, and a slightly older version of myself appeared on the screen. I was sitting on the sofa next to my father, painfully crying at the top of my lungs, while my father ignored me. “Ah, quality time with dear old dad.” I clicked the projector, annoyed by my lack of catharsis. Another image of me appeared, dressed in all black standing at my mother’s funeral. “Now there is a family moment.” I growled and quickly removed the slide from the projector tray and then clicked one last time. An awkward image of me standing in my college dorm room appeared on the wall. I looked like a total social outcast wearing a tattered and dirty t-shirt beneath a tweed sports coat. I tried to force a smile, “Keep trying kid! Keep trying and one day you’ll be a swan amongst swine.” I shut off the projector. “That’s it!”
I pulled a copy of the film, Lost in Her Eyes off the shelf and popped it into my DVD player. Minutes later, I was sucked into the film and shoving handfuls of popcorn into my mouth. The T.V. screen displayed Jack Waters and Evie Greene. I stared at Jack Waters leaning on the bar flirting with Evie, a singer in his nightclub whom he had a long time secret crush on. Since it was after normal club hours they were the only two people left at the bar. Jack slid a drink towards Evie and they both lifted up their glasses. “Salute!”
The T.V. screen faded to black and then faded back in, indicating a passing of time. Jack and Evie appeared friendlier; they were sitting beside one another deep in conversation.
Jack smirked. “Evie do you really believe that true love exists?” Evie looked at Jack stunned. She grabbed her clutch off the bar and tapped Jack on the shoulder with it.
“Jack Waters! What kind of silly question is that?”
Jack laughed, “It’s the kind of question that leads me to believe you do?”
Evie sipped her vodka martini. “Yes! Of course I do. Why? Don’t you?”
Jack paused, and then coolly replied, “I don’t know Evie. I have no proof of its existence.”
Evie turned away, avoiding eye contact with Jack.
Jack helplessly stared at the back of Evie’s head, willing her to turn around. Finally, he blurted out, “Well at least hear me out before you go and make any harsh judgments about me!”
Evie turned towards Jack and softly spoke. “Fine, I’m listening.”
Jack took a sip of his bourbon and then cleared his throat. “What I was about to say was... couldn’t it all be some chemical reaction going off in the brain?” Jack made a few hand gestures around his head indicating that sparks were going off.
Evie’s face wrinkled in disgust. “How awful! Are you actually telling me Jack Waters doesn’t believe in love?”
Jack stood up trying to play it cool. “I’m telling you that I’m not sure Evie. I don’t think that I’ve ever been in love.”
Evie’s eyes softened as she tenderly caressed Jack’s cheek. “How sad.”
Jack grinned and leaned in playfully. “For whom?”
Evie rolled her eyes. “Very funny Jack.”
Jack finished his drink and casually strolled behind the bar to pour another round. He arrogantly announced, “Yes, well I thought it was kind of clever.”
Evie batted her long eyelashes at Jack and sighed, “Oh Jack! Poor misguided Jack. What are we going to do with you?”
Before Jack could reply Evie jumped off of her chair and screamed. “That’s it!”
Jack nearly spit out his drink. “What? What did I miss?”
Evie intensely stared into Jack’s eyes. “This summer, Jack Waters is going to fall in love!”
Jack choked on his words. “I am?”
Evie smiled and announced, “Yes, you are, because I am going to make it my personal mission to find that one incredible, irreplaceable woman that you can’t live with out. You’ll see; you won’t be able to resist!“
Jack hated the idea, but he decided to play along with Evie’s ridiculous plan just to see where it would go. “And just how might I ask do you plan on doing that?”
Evie twirled her red locks between her manicured fingers and sweetly cooed into Jack’s ear. “Let’s just say when it comes to matters of the heart, I am the love doctor.”
Jack shook his head. “I see,” he said, “but what if I refuse?”
Evie looked deep into Jack’s eyes and whispered. “You can’t resist a challenge Jack. Besides, what do you have to lose?”
Jack didn’t skip a beat, “Everything!”
Evie leaned in closer and seductively replied, “Or you could gain everything Jack.”
At that moment it was obvious that Jack would yield to Evie’s every desire. “What do I have to do?”
Evie playfully clapped her hands and bit her bottom lip. “It’s simple. You just have to go out to dinner with the women I set you up with and then... you have to let me help you woo them.”
Jack looked at Evie like she was crazy. “What? Are you out of your mind? Why would I ever do a thing like that?”
Evie looked annoyed. “Why wouldn’t you Jack? Unless you think I don’t know what women want?” Jack didn’t say a word. He knew he was on a slippery slope with Evie and he didn’t want to mess up his chances with her.
“Well?” Evie said, anxiously anticipating Jack’s response.
Jack smiled while shaking his head. “I don’t know Evie. On the one hand, putting my love life in your hands could be the worst mistake of my life, but on the other hand you could have a point. You are a woman after all so; I suppose it is possible that you do know what women want.”
Evie’s face beamed with joy. “So you’ll do it!”
Jack shook his head. “I didn’t say that.”
Evie’s smile suddenly turned into a frown. “Fine then, I have to go!” Evie snatched her clutch off the bar and began to walk towards the door. “Goodnight Jack!”
Jack popped out from behind the bar and blocked Evie from leaving. “Hold on a minute. I’ll do it, but only under one condition.”
Evie squinted her eyes. “And what might that be?”
Jack grabbed Evie’s hand. “One of those women has to be you.”
Evie tapped Jack with her clutch again. “Jack that is ridiculous. And besides it defeats the whole purpose of this.”
Jack took a deep breath and said, “You are either one of the women Evie or we don’t have a deal.”
Evie tried to argue with Jack, but he cut her off with a hard glance. Evie huffed, “Fine! I’ll be one of the women, but nothing is going to happen between the two of us Jack so you better make the most of the women I set you up with.”
Jack moved out of Evie’s way. “We’ll see about that, won’t we?” Evie rolled her eyes and then walked out of the bar.
Unexpectedly, the sound from the T.V. set was replaced with the sound of my snoring. I had passed out on the couch with my hand in the popcorn bowl.
~ Review ~
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~ About the Author ~
Isabella “Izzy” Church is an Actress, Singer, and Writer: born in Sacramento, California, USA who is focused on film, television and music. Izzy began her career as an actress and model in New York City as a teenager. While in New York she attended Marymount Manhattan College graduating with honors with a degree in Communication Arts, specialising in writing for film and television. To further her writing career she interned at DreamWorks for the head of the film and television department. Additionally, she pursued her acting studies with one of the top acting instructors in the country. Currently, Izzy is living in New York City and heading up a boutique Media Development Company called, Third Culture Creative.
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ALPHA BOOK CLUB REVIEW
“The entire crew looked worried as I walked off the set sulking. I was headed to my dressing room until I spotted Samantha sitting on an apple box. I snuck up behind her like a giddy schoolboy and began to peer over her shoulder.”
4 surprising stars. I wasn’t expecting much from this book, I won’t lie, but I was pleasantly surprised with how great and funny this book was!! Great read!!!
ANGRY MOVIE GUY is a romantic comedy about a struggling film critic who decides to take on a bad attitude to achieve fame and success as the Angry Movie Guy. When his review destroys the career of a woman he's fallen in love with he must re-think his life.
Can he mend his hateful ways and win her heart?
I really loved this book. The story was well developed and the characters were a lot of fun to read about. I also loved the dropping of actual celebrities names and their “appearances”. Great great book. I was not disappointed at all.
**Received a copy in exchange for an honest review. Read and reviewed by Melissa for Alpha Book Club**