by Lucy Ellis, author of The Man She Shouldn’t Crave (Harlequin Presents, August 2012)
My starting point for The Man She Shouldn’t Crave was Doris Day. Specifically those three sex-comedies she did with Rock Hudson in the late ’50s, early ’60s, you know, back when Hollywood used to make films for grown-ups.
My heroine Rose was inspired by Doris and her cute wiggly walk in those wool suits, her professional woman demeanour and professional virgin shtick. There’s this sweetness and determination about Doris in those films that I wanted to write large in Rose. She’s a professional woman out there on her own, trying to build a life out of the shards of a broken one. The only girl in a Texan family of four older brothers and a widowed father she needs gumption. She needed a dose of Doris.
Enter 6’6″ of Rock… ahem, my hero Plato, Russian man candy with his deep voice and doorway wide shoulders holding up the world, his team and his professional playboy image. Plato’s a big, wounded Alpha who spots Rose behaving suspiciously at his ice hockey team’s press conference and Doris & Rock-fashion the games begin.
a woman who makes her living finding happy-ever-afters for other people. He’s based in Moscow; she’s based in Toronto. How could it possibly work?
Rose at times may feel she’s taken on more than she can handle with Plato, who has no intention of settling down, but she’s not from the great state of Texas for nothing.
Of course, as aficionados will know, no Day & Hudson comedy is worth its salt without Tony Randall. My version is there in cameos by Rose’s inquisitive neighbour Mrs Padelecki, and Plato’s star forward Sasha Rykov.
For me, Hollywood’s romantic comedies began in the 1930s and ended with Day and Hudson. What are your favourite rom com films and why?