THIS ONE IS MINE By Maria Semple
Semple pokes fun at the overprivileged in "This One Is Mine." It's been done again and again, of course, but Semple, a former television producer and writer, brings a fresh eye to a milieu she clearly knows well. Violet Parry lives a rarefied existence in the Hollywood Hills with her wealthy music-promoter husband David and their toddler, Dot. She gave up a successful career writing for TV to become a mother and chatelaine of the Parrys' showplace house. But lately she's not the Violet David married, Ultra Violet, the woman who knows how to get things done. But neither is workaholic, money-obsessed David the thoughtful man Violet fell in love with.
Violet becomes obsessed with grubby bass player Teddy Reyes, a recovering drug addict infected with hepatitis C, a charming lowlife, an unwashed romantic with a self-destructive bent. To Violet he's the most unsuitable man imaginable, so he's irresistible. She fantasizes about throwing over everything and running off with him, but her imagination takes her only as far as reserving a suite at the Ritz-Carlton. In a parallel plot line, David's volatile younger sister Sally, a washed-up ballerina who makes a living running princess parties for little girls, is desperately hunting a wealthy husband. She thinks she has found the man in Jeremy, an oddly self-contained sports-handicapping genius on the cusp of fame and fortune as an ESPN broadcaster. She browbeats him into an engagement. Semple brings the two stories together when Violet hires Teddy's collection of musical misfits, Sticky Fingers, "The World's Only Rolling Stone Tribute Band," to play at Sally and Jeremy's wedding. She has a deft touch when it comes to choreographing chaos. The wedding is a memorably funny disaster. "This One Is Mine" is a delight.