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Act One: Meet Cute

Actor Daniel Radcliffe reads a short piece of fiction, “The Present,” from Simon Rich’s book of short stories “The Last Girlfriend on Earth.” (10 minutes)

Act Two: The Obstacle

Elna Baker interviews comedian Michelle Buteau about one of her first big romantic challenges.

Act Three: The Run

David Kestenbaum retraces the steps of Steve Snyder, a man who found himself running for love.

Act Four: You Had Me at Hello

Comedian Jillian Welsh tells Diane Wu about one of the most romantic—and stressful—nights of her life, a night that paralleled the plot of a rom-com in several ways. A version of this story first appeared on the Risk! podcast.

Prologue

Host Ira Glass interviews author Alain de Botton about why so many of us choose the wrong spouses. Botton is the author of the new novel The Course of Love.

Act One: Jesse’s Girl

Jesse had been waiting his whole life to fall in love—and then he started getting these letters from the perfect woman, Pamala. She seemed vulnerable.

Act Three: Unbreak My Heart

Julia Lillis talks to Ira about the huge, romantic move she made after a break up, and how it was both crazy and worth doing.

Act Two: 21 Chump Street

A few years ago at three high schools in Palm Beach County, Florida, several young police officers were sent undercover to pose as students, tasked with making drug arrests. And this, this is the setting for a love story, reported by Robbie Brown.

Act Two: 21 Chump Street

Last year at three high schools in Palm Beach County, Florida, several young police officers were sent undercover to pose as students, tasked with making drug arrests. And this, this is the setting for a love story, reported by Robbie Brown.

Act Two

Chicago writer Rebecca Makkai bring us the story of a reality television producer attempting to gossip love into existence—and just how complicated that gets. This fiction story originally appeared in the journal Crazyhorse.

Act Two: Isn't It Slow-Mantic

In Sean Lewis’ family, there is a legendarily romantic love story. It’s famous in his family partly because the story unfolded over decades and across continents, but also because no one can quite believe that out of everyone in their family, the one with the epic, swoon-inducing love story…is Mark.

Prologue

Ira talks with Jessica Pressler, who writes the Daily Intel blog for NewYork Magazine, about a phenomenon she noticed in the wedding notices in The New York Times. Couples were cheerfully telling—as part of their "meet cute" stories—how their relationships began with one of them cheating on a spouse or long-time partner.

Act One: Let Me Kiss Your Stiff Upper Lip

From England, Ruby Wright has a story of an affair where—even years after it ended—it wasn't much discussed. Ruby Wright's radio show Ruby's Chicky Boil-Ups airs every other Sunday on Radionowhere.
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