Tag Archives: Hollywood

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
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Review: You Couldn’t Ignore Me If You Tried

You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried

You Couldn’t Ignore Me If You Tried
By Susannah Gora
(Three Rivers Press, Paperback, 9780307716606, 384pp, Feb 2011)

The Short of It:

If you watch Sixteen Candles EVERY time it’s on, or if you’ve ever wished Duckie Dale ended up with Andie at the end of Pretty In Pink, then this is the book for you.

The Rest Of It:

I love this book. I bought it over a year ago for my Kindle and allowed myself to read tiny bits of it between basketball practice, tennis lessons and doctor’s appointments. It provided me with a year’s worth of joy. What IS it about the 80’s anyway? Is that decade particularly special, or is it just special to me because those were  my high school years? I wonder sometimes.

Gora covers all the movies of that time…the Brat Pack films that include Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink and The Breakfast Club, just to name a few. With interviews of the key players and inside scoops on casting…You Couldn’t Ignore Me If You Tried is basically a touching collection of memories. These young actors grew up to depict the characters of our youth, yet the issues they dealt with were authentic and often issues that they were struggling with in real life. The struggle for acceptance, the awkwardness, the angst… it’s all here.

What I especially love about this book is that Gora gives you all the behind-the-scenes info on casting, who was seeing who, how the directors and producers influenced these actors on a daily basis, etc. Just the bits on casting alone were fascinating. There was so much going on with these actors that it’s hard to imagine that the movies were ever made!

After each chapter, I found myself pulling out all of my DVDs and loading up my iPod with songs of that time. I just can’t say enough about the book. If you loved the 80’s, you simply have to read it. I will leave you with one of my favorite clips from Pretty in Pink. Click here to view it.

Source: Purchased

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