Tag Archives: Diane Keaton

Review: Let’s Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty (Audio)

Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty
Let’s Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty
Read By Diane Keaton
(Random House Audio, Compact Disc, 9780804165853, April 2014)

The Short of It:

An observant, witty take on the meaning of beauty.

The Rest of It:

Diane Keaton is a wonderful storyteller. She can literally talk about anything and somehow make it fascinating. I enjoyed Then Again, some years back. That book focused on family and mainly, her relationship to her mother. I loved that book. She seemed so genuine and although she did hold a little back when it came to her many love affairs with some very recognizable names (Pacino, Beatty, Allen), I still enjoyed it quite a bit.

So, when her new book came out, I quickly snatched it up on audio, which is my preferred reading method for her books because they are read by her which makes them irresistible to me. Listening to it, I really got the feeling that she was sitting right next to me and we were having a little chat. Her conversational tone and her willingness to be vulnerable is what stands out to me. In Let’s Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty, she focuses on beauty. Primarily, what beauty means to her. Given that she is one of the few actresses in Hollywood that hasn’t had anything done to her face, I have a lot of respect for her.

Sure, she’s a little neurotic and all over the place when she gives interviews but I love her personality. Her favorite feature? Her eyes, but not because of how they look, but because of what they see. This is a theme throughout the entire memoir. Through fashion and architecture, her love for all things beautiful shines through.

As a forty-something woman, I could certainly relate to a lot of what she shares. She doesn’t hold anything back as far as her insecurities about herself, but the book felt abbreviated to me. Maybe, a tad too short, especially for an audio book . It is just five hours long. I could have easily spent a few more hours with her.

Regardless of its length, I loved it for its message and listening to it was a nice way to spend a few hours. I REALLY wanted to see her in person. She had a few events close to me but I just couldn’t make them work.

Have you read her books? What’s your favorite Keaton movie? Everyone loves her more recent stuff but to date, my fave is still Manhattan Murder Mystery.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: Then Again (Audio)

Then Again (Audio)

Then Again
By Diane Keaton (read by Diane Keaton)
(Random House Audio, Compact Disc, 9780307934017, November 2011)

The Short of It:

Warm, witty and touching. Absolutely loved it.

The Rest of It:

I am a huge Diane Keaton fan. Years ago when I was in film school, I took a series of classes on Woody Allen. I adored Woody Allen and I couldn’t help but get to know Keaton’s work as well since she appeared in so many of his films. What I didn’t know, is that they sort of had a “thing” for each other. Yes, I know…it seems so obvious but it wasn’t until I listened to her memoir that I actually believed it. Of course, her years with Woody were extremely interesting to me, but what I found most interesting was her childhood. Then Again is Keaton’s memoir, but it also functions a tribute to Keaton’s mother Dorothy Hall, who suffered from, and later died of Alzheimer’s disease.

Listening to this on audio was such a treat! It’s read by Diane herself and every time I plugged into my iPod I was taken to another time and place. She talks of her childhood and the wonderful relationship she had with her mother. She also mentions her other siblings and her father, but the real focus here is her mother, Dorothy Hall who pretty much taught Diane everything she needed to know about life and more. Here was a bright, educated woman who gave up her career to raise a family. Did she regret it? According to her journal entries which are shared by Diane, not really. She loved her family and her family was everything to her. Did she make a sacrifice? Of course, but she was a positive woman who tried to make the best of things. A trait that Diane appreciated and modeled with her own children.

As wonderful as walking down Memory Lane can be, there is a darkness that emerges as well. Dorothy Hall was a woman of many talents, but constantly struggling to find her niche.  All in all, the Halls appeared to be a happy family and that was mostly due to her mother making it so. Something that Diane appreciates now, but also regrets when she realizes how lonely her mother must have been, trying to constantly re-invent herself at every turn. Diane shares in this self-doubt. Always wondering if she is good enough, pretty enough, or smart enough for anyone to want her.

In between these thoughtful moments, Diane shares stories from her career. How she met Woody, how she came to know Warren Beatty and her first impression of Jack Nicholson and Al Pacino. She talks of that famous outfit from Annie Hall and how she originally turned down the part of Erica Barry in Something’s Gotta Give. Can you imagine?

This was a wonderful memoir to listen to. I loved hearing Diane tell her own story but the parts where she discusses her mom, well… those parts brought a tear to my eye. The only downside to listening to this on audio is that I probably missed out on some great family photos. That’s okay, because it was wonderfully done and anyone who enjoys her work, loves hearing about mother/daughter relationships or anyone who has lost someone to Alzheimer’s, will enjoy and find comfort in this book.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.