Listening to Diane Keaton read Let’s Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty is like listening to an old friend reminisce as you sit together on the breakwall outside her house at the beach. The sun is shining! She wearing a hat… she’s always wearing a hat! She’s talking… and you’re listening as you look out to the horizon… and beyond it… remembering your first love, your first kiss, your first everything.
She’s letting you into her life… and the way she reads this book is not like some actress reading a script. No. She’s speaking to you… with passion, emotion… laughter… and sometimes, tears.
It’s a book about beauty. And, so much more.
I’m not gonna lie. I’m a fan. I’ve loved her since the first time I saw her on the big screen, in Manhattan.
(Disclaimer: You may notice that I’ve mentioned Woody Allen‘s work before… yesterday, in fact. It is probably clear that I enjoy his movies. I do think he is a comedic genius. However, because of some unpleasant (repugnant) choices in his personal life, I have wrestled with my opinion and indeed, whether or not to watch his movies. In the end, I separate his personal life from his talent as a filmmaker. I apologize if bringing him up causes anyone discomfort or pain.)
Keaton was also wonderful in Annie Hall … and I adored how she dressed. I even tried it for a while. It was a moderate success.
But my favorite movie of hers has got to be Baby Boom. When my kids were young, our family must have watched it twenty times – at least. The thing about that movie… that also resonates throughout this book… is her humanity. It shines through.
This book attempts to answer the question: What is beauty?
And you know what? The longer the book goes on… the more I believe that Keaton has the answer!
Because she’s from Southern California and still lives there, listening to her reminds me of home. She speaks of cities and towns I’ve been through dozens (or hundreds) of times and I can picture it all. Her house overlooking my beloved Pacific Ocean sounds like someplace I’ve dreamed of living. I sooooo miss my Pacific!
She brings up things from MY childhood… like Newberry’s, for crying out loud. Have you heard of Newberry’s? You definitely have to be “of a certain age,” I think. And how her mother allowed her to wear lipstick but no eye makeup when she was a young teen. It all felt so illicit and decadent back then. Oh, God, get ready for a rousing “Those were the good old days” right? My point is, we *were* younger back then, both literally and figuratively. Kids today have to grow up too fast. But that’s a topic for another day and has nothing whatsoever to do with Keaton’s fabulous book. Ha!
I will give you one hint about what Keaton finds truly “beautiful”…
No wonder I think she’s neat. I feel exactly the same way!
Oh, man. I could go on and on. But I’d rather you read it. You should do that.
It is! I gave this a lot of thought. Allen’s work was “easier” than some others for me..,. Cosby and Polanski come to mind.
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Your disclaimer is helpful. I find myself doing the same with other artists in various genres who have shall we say “fallen from grace”. Sometimes difficult to do … separate our feelings.
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