Everyone knows at least one. Maybe not personally, but maybe they’re always at a bar you frequent, or they catch the same bus, or they’re the receptionist at your work. You might not talk to them all that much, but you can never really resist letting your eyes linger just a little longer than they should. Whether it’s because of their chiselled jaw, their dark knowing eyes, or their immaculately perfect hair, there’s just something about them that’s just so very … hot. Yep. We all know one. We all know A Hot Guy.
The Hot Guy, written by film critic duo Mel Campbell and Anthony Morris, begins with down-on-her-luck Cate, a sports publicist. She’s just dumped her boyfriend Alistair, who doesn’t get her jokes and likes polo a little bit too much for her tastes. Eager to get out of her slump, her two best friends take her to a secret bar where all down and out girls go after their relationship has ended. Why that bar? Well, that’s where The Hot Guy is. Everyone knows that you pick him up, you sleep with him, and you make some excuse to never see him again. One night is all you need. After all, he’s The Hot Guy. A guy like that is going to be too hard to keep down; he’ll have girls fawning over him left and right, and girls not in his league… well, it’s just too difficult.
So Cate does it. She picks him up at the bar, and goes back to his place. But the thing is, for Cate, one night really isn’t enough. One night leaves her wanting more. And maybe everyone’s been wrong about The Hot Guy, because Adam (yes, he has a name) wants more too… but can it work? Can their relationship survive sabotaging friends, ridiculous work environments, and a League of twelve hundred women who are all waiting for their chance at The Hot Guy?
The Hot Guy is packed with witty movie-related humour, and it’s no surprise, given that both Campbell and Morris are film critics by day, hilarious novelists by night. They range from high-brow to low-brow, and more importantly, Campbell and Morris aren’t afraid to poke a little fun at the industry. There’s a genuine focus on exposing pretentiousness, and it’s refreshing. Adam’s a movie buff by trade, but even he realises that there’s more to life than creating some pseudo-intellectual short film that will only be understood by academics in fifty years. Sometimes, it’s just about having fun, and making people laugh.
Which is exactly what Campbell and Morris do all through the book. From Cate who is a sports publicist who hates sport, to her hilarious friends who drink too much and fly kites to unwind, this book will leave you grinning the whole way through – maybe even chuckling out loud. But the funniest thing in this book is just how real it is. Cate and Adam’s relationship begins as a joke, but throughout it all, you realise that hey, hot people are people too, and the funny ones have more than a little seriousness to them.
With all the elements of your favourite romcom films dashed with that literary extra-something you love, The Hot Guy will make you laugh, but at the end, it’ll make you smile too. Because all anyone wants – even Cate and Adam – is a genuine connection. It doesn’t matter if they’re the Hot Guy too.
About the authors
Mel Campbell is a Melbourne-based freelance journalist, critic, copywriter and editor. Mel co-founded the award-winning poster-journal Is Not Magazine and online pop-culture digest The Enthusiast. Her first book was Out of Shape: Debunking Myths about Fashion and Fit (Affirm Press, 2013. She is currently a columnist on writing at Overland magazine, a co-host of The Rereaders fortnightly literary and culture podcast, and a frequent contributor on film, TV and in print.
Anthony Morris is a freelance film writer and editor. Since 2005 he has been DVD editor at The Big Issue, a magazine he first began writing for in 1997. He has been the film editor for Forte magazine since 1992, and is currently a regular contributor to media outlets including Empire, Junkee, Broadsheet, SBS Online and the Wheeler Centre.