FINALLY! A laugh out loud romantic comedy that is witty, intelligent and fun. This is a lighthearted and quick read that is perfect for your summer vacation.
“The Rosie Project” is a fast paced romantic comedy that features a lovable, geeky nerd named Don who at age 39 decides that it’s time to find a life partner and so he begins “The Wife Project.” Like any good nerd he decides to have the applicants fill out a 16 page questionnaire: “A purpose built, scientifically valid instrument incorporating current best practice to filter out women who are time wasters, disorganized, and smokers…leaving, ideally, the perfect partner or, realistically, a manageable short list of candidates.”
Then Don meets Rosie who he believes is applying for the Wife Project. Actually, Rosie is unaware of Don’s search for a wife and is running a project of her own. She is looking for help from the genetics department of his university to help her construct a test to find her biological father.
Don quickly disqualifies Rosie as a potential wife because she smokes, drinks and is habitually late but he can’t help but continue to make plans to help her with her project even though it doesn’t make logical sense.
The story is laid out in a series of hysterical scenes full of misunderstandings and social nuances that are completely missed by our lovable but clueless hero. As the story progresses the tone of Don’s first person narration changes from extremely structured and fact based to one that is aware that he is lacking empathy and missing social cues. As he developos he begins working hard to modify his behavior to “the difficult but essential task of developing a high level of empathy for one person in the world.”
I won’t spoil the ending other than to say it reads like a screenplay. A future movie looks likely since the film rights were optioned by Sony. I like to pretend I am a casting director and so I kept picturing Tom Hanks playing Don in a “Forest Gump” style. I cast Emma Stone as Rosie.
One other little factoid about this book: Bill Gates put it on his published summer reading list. His wife recommended he read it because she thought he shared a lot of personality traits with Don. He said he couldn’t put it down and gave it a raving review.
Like Bill, I would highly recommend reading this book. You will end up rooting for Don and Rosie to figure it all out so they can live happly ever after.