UNQUALIFIED by Anna  Faris


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The comedic actress and podcaster reflects on her career journey and offers advice on relationships.

In the effusive foreword to his wife’s book, actor Chris Pratt notes that a similarity they share is their reliance on people’s tendency to underestimate them—a possible hint for readers to anticipate something more than the routine narrative that follows. Faris, best known for her roles in the Scary Movie franchise and the TV sitcom Mom, does little to raise the bar of what can best be described as equal parts Hollywood coming-of-age story and celebrity-as-relationship-adviser brand-building exercise. The author’s background story is fairly uneventful. She grew up in a Seattle suburb in a loving, supportive family. In high school and college, she appeared in a few local stage productions, which sparked a continued interest in acting, leading to auditions and minor film and TV work. After falling in love with a co-star from an early film, Ben Indra, she followed him to Hollywood, where she landed a few breakout film roles. Her eventual marriage to Indra didn’t work out, but shortly thereafter, she met Pratt, and their relationship quickly blossomed and continues to endure. As a writer, Faris has her moments. She has an engaging voice and is capable of expressing a distinct point of view. She is most affecting in her occasionally bittersweet reflections, as she recounts stories about working in the industry, her anxieties and frustrations about auditioning, and the personal challenges of dealing with aging in Hollywood (she recently turned 40). Unfortunately, there are far too many self-conscious references to the fact that she’s writing her first book. Her story is also loaded with unnecessary filler—e.g., chapters revolving around relationship themes and advice from her popular podcast Unqualified and random lists (“Sex on the Beach and Thirteen Other Things that Sound Better Than They Are”) that are presumably intended to engage her podcast audience.

A mildly compelling celebrity memoir primarily for fans of the author’s podcast.

Pub Date: Oct. 24th, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-101-98642-4
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2017


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