Happy New Year! First book of my reading challenge is complete. I started it in 2019, but that’s ok, right? I’ve had a busy couple of months!
Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I normally don’t read recommended books from ads on Facebook, but when I was sitting poolside in Las Vegas on my honeymoon last summer, I saw an advertisement for this book and decided to give it a shot.
Apparently Facebook thinks I’m lovelorn, when I changed my relationship status to “married” only days earlier. 😀
Anyway, Waiting for Tom Hanks…
Annie Cassidy is a lovelorn freelance writer, fueled by her wanting of the perfect romantic comedy relationship. She lives in her parents’ house with her Uncle Don (who has cared for her since her mother passed away), is surrounded by the geekiness of her uncle’s Dungeons and Dragons nights, watches copious amounts of cliche 1990s romantic comedies, and spends time at the local coffee shop.
Annie’s uncle’s former college roommate is in Columbus, Ohio to film a romantic comedy, and Don gets her a job on the movie set. Annie’s world is turned upside down when she meets the handsome but (as she sees him) obnoxious Drew Danforth. All she wants is the perfect relationship with a Tom Hanks-type of guy. Could Drew be The One…or will Annie have to live through her romantic comedy world to find The One?
I admit to having a serious guilty pleasure for 1980s and 1990s romantic comedies. I’ve always liked “…When Harry Met Sally,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” and my personal favorite, “All of Me,” which was a truly underappreciated gem from the mid-1980s (no, Tom Hanks is not in it). The plots of rom coms are always cliche and predictable, but they’re escapist and perfect for when you’re a romantic hopeful. I went through a time in my life where I was single and wanted a relationship “like the ones on TV” or “the ones in the movies.” I love 90s sitcoms and to me, there was no greater aspiration than to be like Helen Chappel and find her Joe Hackett (if you’ve ever watched “Wings,” you’ll know what I’m talking about). 11-12 years ago, this was exactly what I wanted. I had online dating profiles, and all of them were a bust. It was probably not the right time, and even when I did get into a relationship in 2012 (that didn’t last), it probably still wasn’t the right time.
I could certainly relate to Annie in her wanting of the perfect guy (don’t we all?), but “perfect” is more than looks – it’s personality, actions, and yes, embracing quirks. Annie’s bad luck date (the amazing Barry) is typical of a romantic comedy, but she does meet the right guy. I had that luck when I met my now-husband at a Stargate Convention in Chicago in 2015 (I had been there a few times, but the previous year, it was with my soon-to-be ex-boyfriend). The year I showed up single, James (whom I’d met through mutual friends in 2014, and started talking to as friends in the spring of 2015) flirted hard with me. I was apprehensive about getting into another relationship (another way I relate with Annie), but I took a chance. That’s what life is – playing it safe is great, but I realized I could have made a huge mistake had I done that.
I had my meet cute, and everything led to marriage (I’ve been married for seven months). It all worked out in the end, though I don’t think I was living in a rom com.
And yes, I did finally find my Joe Hackett. It took longer than I expected, but it happened.
As for “Waiting for Tom Hanks,” it is as escapist as the romantic comedies Annie and her friend Chloe love – predictable but adorable, and with a great ending. If you watch enough of these movies, you’ll know what happens. 🙂
Happy reading! ❤