Cheat and Charmer This fat, talky melodrama set in 1950s Hollywood has the flash and style of a Jacqueline Susann potboiler but with smarter writing and well-turned characters.… Cheat and Charmer This fat, talky melodrama set in 1950s Hollywood has the flash and style of a Jacqueline Susann potboiler but with smarter writing and well-turned characters.… 2004-10-05 Fiction Random House
Book Review

Cheat and Charmer (2004)

EW's GRADE
B+

Details Release Date: Oct 05, 2004; Writer: Elizabeth Frank; Genre: Fiction; Publisher: Random House

This fat, talky melodrama set in 1950s Hollywood has the flash and style of a Jacqueline Susann potboiler but with smarter writing and well-turned characters. Smart, likable Dinah Lasker — briefly a member of the Communist Party in her youth and now married to a successful screenwriter — agrees to inform on fellow travelers to save her husband's career. Not that Jake Lasker deserves her devotion: He's a selfish philanderer who can't say no to a pastrami sandwich or a pretty starlet. Nor is Dinah repaid for her loyalty to her famously gorgeous sister Veevi (''a born predator with the conscience of a cat''), who moves in with Dinah and Jake following the failure of her own marriage, with predictably disastrous results. Imagine Cheat and Charmer as a juicy mid-'80s television movie starring Morgan Fairchild and Linda Evans.

Originally posted Oct 08, 2004 Published in issue #787 Oct 08, 2004 Order article reprints