Saturday 27 April 2013

Guest Post: A Sex Comedy Without the Sex by Barbara Morgenroth

A Sex Comedy Without the Sex

by Barbara Morgenroth

That's how Andrew Sarris, the film critic, defined screwball comedies of the 1930's. America had entered the Depression, people were out of work, life was grim and they wanted to go to the movies to take the only vacation they could afford--ten cents to sit in the dark for a few hours.

These movies often featured the disparity between the wealthy and the not so well-off, the upper class and the common folk, and the story always put the two groups together so they could interact. By the closing credits, the wealthy usually came out worse for wear, but having learned valuable lessons.

I grew up watching these movies like It Happened One Night, Bringing Up Baby, My Man Godfrey and The Palm Beach Story. I still watch them and love every minute.

When I sat down to write a new book I thought what would be a vacation for me if not writing my own screwball comedy. I started to write about Paige, a woman living her life out on the internet, disconnected from the real world. When Paige meets a man on a dating site she believes is guilty of identity theft—pretending to be a wealthy and famous playboy—she pulls the plug on her computer and leaves for the simple pleasures of rural life.

But this is a screwball comedy and Paige meets one eccentric after another in this small town. The idea is to go over the top and keep going. In The Palm Beach Story, the soon to be ex-husband has a dream to build an airport suspended over the city. In Nothing Serious, a man with a paucity of vowels in his name, Shrdlu, has invented clear ice.

“Think of the uses for that!” Shrdlu exclaims.

“What’s wrong with normal ice?” Paige asks.

“It’s cloudy. You put it in your drink and suddenly you can’t see through your glass anymore.”

Paige nodded in a way she hoped looked supportive. “The unexpected drawback of wanting a cool refreshment.”

“With Clear Ice, trademark pending, you could still see your beverage.”

“A much needed benefit when attempting to get the drink to your mouth.”


Screwball comedies always made the journey to true love and so does Nothing Serious. There are always predicaments to be resolved.

In The Palm Beach Story, Gerry Jeffers has to divorce her husband, Tom, in order to marry a millionaire to get enough money to finance Tom's construction scheme.

In Nothing Serious, there is the problem with Paige's internet addiction, and of course, the issue of painting the storefront in unapproved colors so that Paige nearly winds up in Zoning Board jail. Then she finds a lost portrait of Queen Elizabeth I and uses the windfall profits to bail Shrdlu out of jail resulting from of the small incident of his international computer espionage.

Over the top and keep going.

These wonderful filmmakers from Hollywood's past are a hard act to follow but I hope I honored them in my attempt to create a screwball comedy like theirs. Take a vacation and you don't have to sit in the dark.

About the Author:

Barbara was born in New York City and but now lives somewhere else. Starting her career by writing tweens and YA books, she wound up in television writing soap operas for some years. Barbara then wrote a couple cookbooks and a nonfiction book on knitting. She returned to fiction and wrote romantic comedies.

When digital publishing became a possibility, Barbara leaped at the opportunity and has never looked back. In addition to the 15 traditionally published books she wrote, in digital format Barbara has something to appeal to almost every reader from Mature YAs like the Bad Apple series and the Flash series, to contemporary romances like Love in the Air published by Amazon/Montlake, and Unspeakably Desirable, Nothing Serious and Almost Breathing.

About the Book:

Nothing Serious
by Barbara Morgenroth
Romantic Comedy
Available from amazon

Leaving the safety of New York, Paige Elliot heads for the Catskills and opens a shop mistakenly called Nothing Serious. While battling internet withdrawal, and water containing swamp gas pouring from her faucets, Paige deals with someone who invented thick water, almost nails her hand to the storefront, avoids zoning board jail and falls deeply in love with the blue-eyed antiques dealer next door, Jonathan Macklin, even if he doesn't trust her as far as he can throw his Majorelle cabinet.
Visit the author's amazon webpage


  1. I love the old comedies too, especially It Happened One Night. Congrats on the new book!

  2. It Happened One Night has long been a favorite, but I just watched The Palm Beach Story last night for the first time. It was part of TCM's Film Festival. What a zany movie, and what a crazy twist at the end. Your story sounds funny and clever. Good luck with it!