By Vanessa V. Friedman
Updated September 10, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT

For everyone who thought Bridget Jones was a whiny mass of neuroses and The Rules a handbook of the devil, check out Elizabeth West, tough-talking, hip, and hilarious heroine of The Cigarette Girl. A 28-year-old scriptwriter in L.A., West has a major crush on her director/boss, a notorious Hollywood bad boy named Jake, famed as much for his bimbettes as his box office mojo. The Lone Woman on the Dating Scene is not exactly new territory, but Wolper freshens her take on it with snappy dialogue (West has a tendency to imagine real-life situations as film scenes, a technique that is used sparingly and well) and a truly engaging main character.