Created by Matt Zoller Seitz
Directed by Judith Carter
NEW TO STORE:
Mad Men, Sopranos AND
“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”
An in-depth celebration of the romantic comedy’s modern golden era and its role in our culture, tracking the genre from its heyday in the ’80s and the ’90s, its unfortunate decline in the 2000s, and its explosive reemergence in the age of streaming, featuring exclusive interviews with the directors, writers, and stars of the iconic films that defined the genre.
No Hollywood genre has been more misunderstood—or more unfairly under-appreciated—than the romantic comedy. Funny, charming, and reliably crowd-pleasing, rom-coms were the essential backbone of the Hollywood landscape, launching the careers of many of Hollywood’s most talented actors and filmmakers, such as Julia Roberts and Matthew McConaughey, and providing many of the yet limited creative opportunities women had in Hollywood. But despite—or perhaps because of—all that, the rom-com has routinely been overlooked by the Academy Awards or snobbishly dismissed by critics. In From Hollywood with Love, culture writer and GQ contributor Scott Meslow seeks to right this wrong, celebrating and analyzing rom-coms with the appreciative, insightful critical lens they’ve always deserved.
Beginning with the golden era of the romantic comedy—spanning from the late ’80s to the mid-’00s with the breakthrough of films such as When Harry Met Sally—to the rise of streaming and the long-overdue push for diversity setting the course for films such as the groundbreaking, franchise-spawning Crazy Rich Asians, Meslow examines the evolution of the genre through its many iterations, from its establishment of new tropes, the Austen and Shakespeare rewrites, the many love triangles, and even the occasional brave decision to do away with the happily ever after.
Featuring original black-and-white sketches of iconic movie scenes and exclusive interviews with the actors and filmmakers behind our most beloved rom-coms, From Hollywood with Love constructs oral histories of our most celebrated romantic comedies, for an informed and entertaining look at Hollywood’s beloved yet most under-appreciated genre.
"If you already enjoy settling in at night with a glass of wine and your favorite rom-com, this book will evoke the same sensation of fun escapism. Who knows if Meslow did that on purpose or if it was just a happy accident. Either way, I’ll have what he’s having." — Joshua Axelrod, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"A sprightly homage to a popular, seemingly evergreen film genre." — Kirkus Reviews
"Meslow tells lots of engaging making of stories (for example, how Pretty Woman was transformed from a fallen-woman tragedy into a Disney fairy tale), but it’s his overarching theme, that romantic comedies are much more than lovey-dovey fluff, that really holds our interest." — Booklist
“Fans of the popular but often under-appreciated genre of romantic comedy will appreciate Meslow’s book, which offers insight on the development of landmark films and how some of Hollywood’s biggest names launched their careers.” — Library Journal
"A lively history of the modern rom-com, Scott Meslow's book reveals the often surprising ways that films like Pretty Woman and Waiting to Exhale got made, and why they continue to matter." — Melissa Maerz, author of Alright, Alright, Alright: The Oral History of Richard Linklater's Dazed and Confused
“From Hollywood With Love gives rom-coms the analysis and respect they finally deserve, especially since part of the snobbery around them is rooted in misogyny.” — Rachel Bloom, comedian, actress, writer and author of I Want To Be Where The Normal People Are
"A romantic comedy is bigger than two people working towards a climactic kiss. It's dozens of people—writers, producers, actors and their director—falling in love with an idea and coming together to walk it down the aisle into theaters. What Scott Meslow reveals here is that the making of each of these landmark rom coms is itself a tumultuous story of heartbreak, trust, and serendipity. The arguments and seemingly magical coincidences behind the scenes are as riveting as the hijinks onscreen." — Amy Nicholson, film critic and co-host of the Unspooled podcast
“If you miss and love romantic comedies as much as I do, this book will scratch that itch!” — Judy Greer, actress and author of I Don't Know What You Know Me From
Scott Meslow is a senior editor at The Week magazine and a writer and critic for publications including GQ, New York magazine, and The Atlantic. From Hollywood with Love is his first book.
MZS.Press is the online arts bookstore founded by author, critic, and filmmaker Matt Zoller Seitz and directed by Judith Carter. It offers new, used, signed, collectible, and rare books on film, TV, music, photography, and the visual arts. The store was launched in 2019 on a different platform and has expanded to incorporate arts books published by MZSPress's private imprint: titles currently include Seitz's The Deadwood Bible: A Lie Agreed Upon and Dreams of Deadwood, about the HBO Western, and Walter Chaw's A Walter Hill Film.
Our deepest wish is to promote, encourage, and distribute work by small presses, academic presses, and individuals. Extraordinary work tends to get swallowed up on giant platforms like Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The store's inventory of nearly 1000 volumes is currently in the process of being reconstructed after its relocation from Cincinnati, Ohio, to Dallas, Texas. The titles featured here are personally selected by a group of curators and advisors, including Seitz, Carter, and an array of critics, artists, journalists, educators, publishers, and arts mavens who are known for their ability to suss out what Seitz's jazz musician dad liked to call "the good sh*t."
“Please. Have mercy. I’ve been wearing the same underwear since Tuesday.”
Matt Zoller Seitz
Critic, Author, Filmmaker, MZS Press Creator
Matt Zoller Seitz is the Editor at Large and film critic of RogerEbert.com; a staff writer for New York Magazine and Vulture.com, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in criticism. His writing on film and TV has appeared in Sight and Sound, The New York Times, Salon.com, The New Republic and Rolling Stone. Seitz is the founder and original editor of the influential film blog The House Next Door, now a part of Slant Magazine.
Seitz has written, narrated, edited or produced over a hundred hours’ worth of video essays about cinema history and style for The Museum of the Moving Image, Salon.com and Vulture, among other outlets. His five-part 2009 video essay Wes Anderson: The Substance of Style was spun off into the hardcover book The Wes Anderson Collection. This book and its follow-up, The Wes Anderson Collection: Grand Budapest Hotel were New York Times bestsellers.
Other Seitz books include the New York Times bestellers The Sopranos Sessions and Mad Men Carousel; TV (The Book), The Deadwood Bible: A Lie Agreed Upon, and the forthcoming The Wes Anderson Collection: The French Dispatch. He is also an interviewer, moderator, and film programmer who has curated and hosted film and TV presentations for the Museum of the Moving Image, IFC Center, San Francisco's Roxie Cinema, and other venues. He is currently working on a memoir about his marriages and a feature-length documentary about his father, jazz musician and composer Dave Zoller.
His hobbies include exotic dancing, moonwalking, and affixing masking tape labels to every food item in the refrigerator, including eggs. He has the attention span of a gnat.