A love letter to the prototypical rom-com ... Romantic Comedy is partly an extrapolation of a fascinating workplace and partly a contemporary romance novel. In some of the book’s most compelling passages, Sally talks about shedding her subconscious need for male approval at work ... A fizzy ride ... If you, like so many women, are feeling recently jilted by a too-good-to-be-true male lover, then Romantic Comedy can be a pleasing antidote to his failures ... But to enjoy Romantic Comedy is to fall for its premise: that it’s reasonable for Sally to be surprised that someone like Noah would be interested in her. You have to believe that Sally’s precipitously low self-esteem is low enough for this particular romantic comedy. Sometimes it is ... But other times, this 'conflict' feels largely unearned ... The book is not a full parody of rom-com wish fulfillment, nor is it steeped in irony about the form. Instead, it lives somewhere in the middle, neither committing to the bit nor criticizing it.
Has a lot going for it, starting with truth in advertising ... The story’s romance is appropriately spring-loaded with improbability. What really energizes the story, though, is its setting in America’s most venerable comedy factory: Saturday Night Live ... In Sittenfeld’s quick-paced prose, the work becomes terrifically exciting and reminds us how rarely we get to see what people actually do at the office ... What makes all this particularly delightful is that the woman narrating Romantic Comedy is hyper-aware of the conventions of romantic comedy, and she knows full well that real life is no fairy tale.
I found myself wishing for a greater helping of Sittenfeld’s dark humor ... I wonder if the author, having decided to set a novel in the world of comedy, may have second-guessed her instincts. Some of the jokes here are undercut by apologies ... By the end, I was rooting for the two of them to make it to the romantic finish line. Noah, though, may be more of a woman’s fantasy of a man than a fully fleshed out (sparring) partner for Sally ... Sittenfeld, with this diverting and easily devoured novel, may have scored an overdue victory of sorts for gender parity.