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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
A Movie Lover's Search for Romance by Joanna J. Charnas is the non-fiction memoir of the author's post-divorce dating life in her 40s and 50s. Charnas brings the reader into a thoroughly documented and thoughtful field as she finds herself determined to make a match. In what started as a series of crushes deemed unattainable, Charnas begins to take the quest seriously to put singlehood to bed—both literally and figuratively speaking. Each chapter delves into an experience with a new man, some budding into actual relationships and others that are DOA. Through it all, Charnas keeps an open mind and an open heart, accepting dates with men who she might not have previously considered a suitable match, but allowing herself the opportunity to embrace the encounters as she pins the episodes to themes from her favorite movies.
A Movie Lover's Search for Romance is likely one of the most honest dating memoirs I've read. Joanna J. Charnas holds nothing back in detailing her state of mind, highs and lows, and brushes with men who were seemingly Mr. Right in addition to the Mr. Right Nows and Mr. No Mores. Adding her love of cinema and attaching this to men and scenarios, including input from some of the dates themselves, imparts a bit of levity to situations that a less tolerant writer might not have been able to concede. My favorite chapter is Kiss of Death, where Charnas dishes on men saying they want one thing when in fact they really want another, and the exact moment she knows the prospect is kiboshed. These are almost universal situations that virtually any person who has dated will be able to relate to. It's rare to find a book on dating life where the author continues to engage as she snuggles up to age sixty. Charnas is a delight to read and her optimism and experiences are nothing short of extraordinary.