A stale, disjointed collection of observations from a Hollywood legend.
With her latest release, Academy Award–winning actress MacLaine (Sage-ing While Age-ing, 2007, etc.) won’t remind readers why she's been so successful entertaining others. What begins as a memoir laid out in brief, anecdotal chapters on all that the author is “over” and “not over” rapidly descends into a jumbled mash-up of her personal beliefs on everything under the sun. Ranging from politics (“Terrorism is just a convenient excuse for those in power to gently instruct us to go quietly into that good night”) to good lighting (“You want the camera high and the key light low”), MacLaine jumps from subject to subject with such a rapid-fire pace that readers barely have a chance to keep up with her. The author is well-known for her humor, which makes an occasional appearance in this volume—“I am appalled at the number of people who are famous for doing absolutely nothing but being seen at parties”—and she provides brief moments of insight: "The studios don’t like to take risks anymore...They seem to be reflecting the fear experienced everywhere...these days.” But the author's strengths are offset by sections in which the author displays a lack of humility: “Those of us in show business sometimes call people who are not in show business ‘civilians’ because they don’t understand what is takes to be loved by being ‘really’ real...[we lead] civilians to water but never let them drink.”
A book in midlife crisis.