Set in New York City, Charming As a Verb by Ben Philippe follows the lives of two seventeen-year-olds as they navigate social life, their coursework at the prestigious Fine Arts Technical Education Academy (FATE), and college dreams. Philippe artfully captures the anxiety that Corinne Troy and Henri Haltiwanger experience in their efforts to find a place at their “dream schools,” Princeton and Columbia.
Corinne is passionate, awkward, intense, and unpredictable while Henri is ambitious, popular, charming, and entrepreneurial. Both are good students who put an inordinate amount of pressure on themselves to succeed.
Henri has a side hustle, walking dogs for wealthy New Yorkers through a business that he established, Uptown Updogs. Corinne discovers a thread of dishonesty in Henri’s business, and blackmails him to keep the secret in exchange for his help to soften her intensity. As their mutual hustle unfolds, the two confront wrinkles that present unanticipated consequences and challenges that they must overcome.
In this romantic comedy, both young people come to realize that there is more to life than studying, and Henri learns that he can’t get by on charm alone.
- Posted by Donna