Harlequin Presents/Riva author Heidi Rice has an uncomfortable moment (or three) watching this caustic little cautionary tale starring Charlize Theron.
Theron's Mavis Gary is a woman still desperately clinging on to her youth... Not just her beauty but her immaturity. And she's managing it! But it's a full-time occupation, which has effectively left everything else in her life on hold since her teenage years. She's still viewing herself as the small-town girl made good. No matter that the series of young adult novels she ghostwrites has just been cancelled. No matter that her private life consists of haunting social media sites in her soulless Seattle apartment. No matter that her emotional development has arrested since High School. No matter that she's still got all the compassion and empathy of a teenage girl used to being the most popular and stamping on all thoses not in the in-crowd. Mavis is still beautiful (on the outside at least).
Now Mavis is an extreme example, but don't we all have a little of a Peter Pan complex? Don't we all remember our youth as slightly more magical than it probably was? And don't we all want to recapture just a little bit of that magic from time to time.... Well, here's the movie that shows you what happens if you do. And it is not pretty.
Theron's performance is brave for being so unfailingly unsympathetic. This is not a woman you would want to identify with - and yet it's written so brilliantly by Juno writer Diablo Cody you can't help doing just that.
Frankly, an offbeat little gem of a movie, that I would highly reccommend, especially if you're feeling a mite too nostalgic for your youth.
Heidi is eagerly awaiting the relaunch of Riva in the UK - with a brand new version of Cupcakes and Killer Heels soon to be available in WH Smiths. In the US, her latest Harlequin Presents Extra, The Good the Bad and the Wild, is still available online. Catch up with all her other news on Twitter (@HeidiRomRice), her blog, her website and Facebook.