Bobby Gould, the number two man in a Hollywood production office. At almost forty years of age, he is still immature, guided by the “street smarts” learned in his youth. Gould has earned his position by honoring the principle that a film is good only if it makes money. By following this standard, he has been rewarded with an office redolent of success. Gould is concerned primarily with his own self-image, his maleness, and the appearance of success. He dresses expensively and uses special, irreverent, and vulgar insiders’ language with ease and fluidity. For a brief period, because he is starving for love and affection, he tries to impress a good-looking girl, his temporary secretary, Karen. He allows himself to pretend that scruples were always important to him. He almost produces an “art for art’s sake” film, seemingly abandoning Hollywood’s “money rules” credo. His lack of faith in his ability to sustain a caring relationship proves justified when Karen is found to have been interested in him only for what he could do for her career. A misogynist from the start, Gould has no qualms or thoughts about what will happen to her when he dumps her.
Charlie Fox, who is about Gould’s age and is an old pal of his. Fox is a hanger-on in the film industry, continually flattering all those in a position to help him while waiting for his big break to come along, which occurs when a hot...
(The entire section is 511 words.)