Beauty & the Briefcase Review
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At this time of year, when the outside world is pretty cold and grey, it’s nice to be able to curl up under your favorite afghan with a warm, cozy chick flick. If you’ve exhausted your collection of favorites at home, you might want to brave the elements (or maybe just head online) to pick up something new. And if you’ve got a thing for hot guys in suits, you might want to check out ABC Family’s Beauty & the Briefcase.

Lane Daniels (Hilary Duff) has always had two goals in life: to write for Cosmo and to meet her “magic man”—the one who meets every requirement on her checklist. But Cosmo won’t publish just anyone—and when you work in fashion, good men are hard to come by.

Thanks to her fashion photographer roommate, Joanne (Amanda Walsh), Lane finally gets a meeting with Cosmo editor Kate White (Jaime Pressly)—and as they chat about their bad luck with men, they come up with a great story. Lane will go undercover in the business world to find her “magic man” among the myriad of men in suits.

Lane quickly fakes her way into a job at an investment company and starts dating men in suits—but a gorgeous record producer threatens to ruin everything.

To enjoy most fluffy romantic comedies, it’s a given that you’ll need to suspend all disbelief and be able to overlook some glaring problems, too. But you might have to work a little harder than usual to enjoy Beauty & the Briefcase. The dialogue is often painfully unnatural, and Lane’s frequent internal monologue is pretty silly. It’s pretty hard to believe that Cosmo’s editor would agree to a one-on-one meeting with a random first-time freelancer—and that she would end the meeting by chatting about how she should have chosen business over fashion, since she would have at least gotten a guy out of the deal. And you’ll just have believe that it’s easy to get a job in the business world—and actually keep it—even if you have absolutely no experience and no formal training whatsoever.

Lane, meanwhile, isn’t always an easy character to like. Though most women will be able to relate to her exasperating search for the right guy, her methods are often frustrating (like blowing off her job and working on her article in the office), and her list is pretty shallow (biggies include a foreign accent and a willingness to travel to exotic places on a whim).

The highlight of the film, then, is its abundance of guys in suits (and some not in suits). Lane is constantly surrounded by gorgeous (and often lovable) guys—so if you’re looking for eye candy, you’ll find plenty of it here.

For the most part, though, Beauty & the Briefcase is clearly made-for-TV stuff—which is unfortunate, since it was directed by Gil Junger, who also directed one of my favorite rom-coms, 10 Things I Hate About You. It has its cute moments—and it’ll do for some brainless entertainment after a long, dreary winter day. But it scores pretty low on my magic chick flick checklist.

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