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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

the oh-no! DVD of the week: ‘Beauty & the Briefcase’

Here ya go:

Hilary Duff (A Cinderella Story) shines in this sparkling romantic comedy based on the book Diary of a Working Girl by Daniella Brodsky. Lane, a fashion journalist, gets the assignment of a lifetime when Cosmopolitan magazine hires her to write a story about finding love in the workplace. Posing as a corporate assistant, Lane finds herself torn between the office’s eligible men in suits and a dashing stranger (Chris Marmack, The O.C.) who sweeps her off her feet. Will she find the “magic man” who fulfills her fantasy checklist, or will her story have an ending as unexpected as love itself? The appealing cast includes Michael McMillan (True Blood) and Matt Dallas (Kyle XY), with Emmy-winner Jaime Pressly (My Name is Earl) and the hilarious Jennifer Coolidge (Legally Blonde).

Frankly, I need more information before I can know what kind of angry to be at this. For starters, how are we meant to take the title? Is it all “Oh, look at the adorable girlie playing at being professional by carrying a briefcase” — that is, should we read the title as Beauty with a Briefcase, and isn’t that cute because beauties never carry briefcases? Or is it: “Oh, look at the adorable girlie trying to catch a man with a briefcase” — that is, the “beasts” here that girlie girl must tame are the ones carrying said briefcases, which is a attribute only men can have, like a secondary sexual charactistic such as facial hair and broad shoulders?
Also, how does a “fashion journalist” get assigned to such a hard-hitting story as “finding love in the workplace”? Surely, such a tough subject requires something more than experience writing about hemlines and whether breasts or hips are in this year. Wouldn’t you need, like, a cultural anthropologist to observe the natives in these exotic “workplaces” in order to understand and interpret the mating habits on display?



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