Title: Waiting for Tom Hanks
Author: Kerry Winfrey
Summary: Annie is twenty-seven years old, single, and obsessed with romantic comedies, her dating life limited by the expectations she’s formed from the movies. With high hopes of finding her own Tom Hanks in the perfect, meet-cute romantic comedy kind of way, Annie avoids new experiences. But when she finally does meet her perfect match in movie star Drew Danforth, it’s not quite in the way she expected, and she’s forced to reckon with the walls she’s built around herself over the years.
I figured that I would probably like Waiting for Tom Hanks—what I didn’t expect was to read for two and a half hours because I literally could not stop until I’d finished. Like, I read for an hour, then I read for a second hour, and then I started (almost hysterically) laughing, said “well I can’t stop now,” and kept reading for a third. Because Y’ALL, this book was laugh-out-loud funny, unbearably cute, and so (so) aware of itself as a romantic comedy obsessed with romantic comedies that I think I maybe fell in love? It was literally the most perfect book for me at the exact moment that I decided to read it, and I think the fact that I started and finished it in the same night made my enjoyment that much sweeter.
The book’s main character, Annie, walks the line between annoying and quirky; her best friend, Chloe, is perhaps too ready with the perfect one-liner; and the plot was a bit on the nose for me—but after I remembered that Waiting for Tom Hanks was literally a rom-com disguised as a book about a rom-com, I fell in love again. Kerry Winfrey does the most perfect job at imbuing the novel with everything she needs to make it an authentic romantic comedy. Like, there’s a montage showing how boring and steady Annie’s life has become up until the point in which we meet her, a meet cute with her eventual love interest, a second guy to make sure she really likes the first, an audience gasp during the “oh no” speed bump, and The Moment tying everything together. But there’s also so much humor and self-actualization that you’re just happy to be along for the ride. Do we root for Annie and Drew to become endgame? Yes! But not just because Winfrey asks us to accept them as a couple. It’s all the little moments they share, the sidelong glances and slow leaning-ins and honest-to-god chemistry Annie is too bullheaded to see that make us shake the book in frustration before kicking the air in excitement.
Sometimes it’s just so goddamn nice to curl up on the couch and re-watch a favorite movie and forget that life is happening outside of those few hours when literally nothing else exists except this one perfect moment when two people come together and fall in love. It’s warm and cozy and yours. Annie got her moment, and Waiting for Tom Hanks gave me mine.