Why can't a woman be more like a man? Be careful what you ask for, as Lynn Wyman learns in Heller's (Sis Boom Bah; Name Dropping) rollicking new comedy, a sendup of female-centric pop therapy and alpha male behavior. Lynn is the linguist mastermind behind the Wyman Method, whereby manly men are taught the fine art of communicating in Womenspeak. Her husband, Kip, seems to be the poster spouse for what she preaches—he has lasagna on the table when she returns home, asks how her day was, cries at the drop of a hat. But then Lynn discovers he's been unfaithful, and her ensuing loss of credibility results in a sharp decline in her multimedia fortunes. What's a Wyman to do? Humbled by her error in judgment, Lynn remains committed to the Method and hatches a plan. Hunky but boorish Brandon Brock has just made Fortune's cover for a feature on "America's Toughest Bosses"; if Lynn can turn him into "America's Most Sensitive Boss," she figures she'll be back on top. How she goes about it, particularly once she realizes that she's falling for him, is the stuff romantic comedies are made of. Good lines plus precision timing add up to a lot of laughs as the author trains her sense of cultural irony on the complex contradictions between what women say they want, what they think they want and what they really want. Heller has always been adept at devising clever premises, and this is no exception. Agent, Ellen Levine. Author tour. (Apr. 21)
Forecast: Sis Boom Bah was just optioned by Julia Roberts's Shoelace Productions. If produced, the film will boost sales of all of Heller's titles, including this one; meanwhile, Female Intelligence seems ripe for the plucking by a production company.
Release date: 04/01/2001