Thursday, April 23, 2009

Isn't She Great? (2000)

The life of bestselling author Jacqueline (Jackie) Susann, whose novels Valley of the Dolls and The Love Machine (which includes a reference to Scranton) were bestsellers, was the focus of the 2000 comedy Isn't She Great. Based on the Michael Korda New Yorker article titled "Wasn't She Great," Isn't She Great stars Bette Midler as Jacqueline Susann and also features Nathan Lane, Amanda Peet, John Cleese, Stockard Channing, and David Hyde Pierce (who filmed the 2002 comedy Wet Hot American Summer in Honesdale, PA). Isn't She Great was a film panned by critics and ignored by audiences upon its release, but it remains an enjoyable light comedy about a literary (and cultural) icon. In addition, Isn't She Great features a reference to (and is briefly set in) Stroudsburg, PA.

One sequence in the film involves Susann going on a book tour by car with her husband Irving Mansfield (Nathan Lane) and publishing representative Debbie (Amanda Peet) to promote her first novel Valley of the Dolls. The first stop is Gladrey's Book Nook in Stroudsburg, PA. In the car, Debbie quizzes Jackie on the owners (it's the owner's wife's birthday) to be as personable as she can and, hence, sell more of her books:

Okay. Stroudsburg. GO!

Gladrey's Book Nook.

When they arrive at Gladrey's Book Nook, Jackie and company make a grand entrance, where she has the following exchange with the bookstore owner:

And when I decided to publish, the very first thing I told my publisher...

(interrupts) Henry Marcus.

...was Gladrey's Book Nook, STROUDSBURG, PA!

The trio then serenades his wife with Happy Birthday.

The Stroudsburg scene is available below from YouTube. The entire film is also available on YouTube--to watch the film from the beginning, click here.

Isn't She Great is also available to borrow on VHS from the Lackawanna County Library System. To place a hold, click here.

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