Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty by Diane Keaton

Like Jenny McCarthy's new book, LET'S JUST SAY IT WASN'T PRETTY by Diane Keaton is another celebrity memoir focused about growing older than the teen heartthrobs which now dominate the movies. But the tone is different, and there's less attempt at advice here on how to maintain one's delusions of everlasting youth (via sheer force of will, if not nip and tuck.) Random memories and a more intimate style are on display, too. In her own modest way, Keaton attempts to understand the muddy mess of the fashion culture women have had mass marketed to them, as she wistfully emulates the great women who largely ignored the trends, and who were original thinkers and dressers. (Like Audrey Hepburn, Diana Vreeland of Vogue, Katharine Hepburn.) She talks again about men she's known or had relationships with, too. Like Woody Allen, Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty, Al Pacino, Sam Shepard. Known for her turtlenecks, outrageous shoes and wide brimmed hats, Keaton relates anecdotes around the idea of our pursuit of beauty, with the idea that beauty should come from the inside out, and not the other way around. Her message, if there is one, is that women shouldn't let everyone else decide what's beautiful, and to find the courage to know and tell the truth about themselves while accepting who they are. "Courage is a form of beauty," she says. Alas, one isn't sure that Keaton fully accepts herself yet, (which is McCarthy's dilemma in STIRRING THE POT, despite her protests to the contrary.) One can't help but feel what they feel between the lines they speak: Hollywood is broken, fame is fleeting, and America's number one discrimination is not race anymore, but age. Especially if you're female. The book is also read by the author for Random House Audio. 


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