Tag Archives: Celebrities

Road Trippin’ with Rob Lowe

Love LifeLove Life
by Rob Lowe
Simon and Schuster
2014
Audio published by Simon and Schuster
7 hours, 33 minutes 
Narrated by Rob Lowe

If I need to spend five hours in a car with anyone, Rob Lowe will do very nicely, thank you. I mean, I can certainly think of worse people to road trip with, y’know what I mean?

Now, celebrity memoirs by people who don’t even need their name on the book cover are usually not my thing. But if you’re a child of the ’80s as I am, you might find Love Life irresistible.

Because, well, it is. Almost all of it, that is. In my view, the first chapter had way too much name-dropping, too much talk about Malibu parties from back in the day, and too much … well, just too much.  (The comparison of the Dick Van Patten clan to the Kennedy family seemed over the top, making this feel no different than any other celebrity memoir.)

However, this quickly becomes the entertaining audio I was anticipating for my drive across Pennsylvania.

Rob Lowe filled my car with long-ago tales of debauchery, a tearjerker about sending his son off to college, and a female co-star who had a difficult time kissing him. (Note to Rob: if you ever find yourself in such a predicament again, I’ll be happy to help you out.)

Those of us of a certain age know all about Rob Lowe’s past.  And what makes this book work is that Rob Lowe knows that we know. He doesn’t hide from it; instead he self-deprecatingly transforms what he’s learned from decades of Hollywood experience into something resembling – OMG, this makes me sound like I’m ready for the fucking home – fatherly advice.

“I think it was Alfred Hitchcock who said 90 percent of successful movie-making is in the casting. The same is true in life. Who you are exposed to, who you choose to surround yourself with, is a unique variable in all of our experiences and it is hugely important in making us who we are. Seek out interesting characters, tough adversaries and strong mentors and your life can be rich, textured, highly entertaining and successful, like a Best Picture winner. Surround yourself with dullards, people of vanilla safety and unextraordinary ease, and you may find your life going straight to DVD.”

A little cheesy? Absolutely, without a doubt. But again, somehow, it works.

Rob Lowe is an entertainer. He’s spent his entire life doing exactly that. In that regard, Love Life does not disappoint.

 

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Book Review: I Remember Nothing: And Other Reflections, by Nora Ephron (audiobook)

I Remember Nothing: And Other Reflections
by Nora Ephron 
Random House Audio
2010
Unabridged 
3 hours, 8 minutes

I Remember Nothing is narrated by Nora Ephron herself – so given her recent passing, hearing her distinctive voice is kind of bittersweet at first. 

Jarring, even.

But the humor more than makes up for it, of course, and listening to this three CD recording is like listening to an old friend (or a new one who feels like an old friend). In this audiobook, Ephron peppers her personal essays with phrases such as “I have to tell you,” and “I am not proud of this.”

I Remember Nothing almost has the feeling of being two books in one. The first part is Nora recounting all the everyday as well as significant and historical happenings in her life that she can’t remember or may only remember trivial details of.

And we’re talking MAJOR events. Things like meeting Eleanor Roosevelt, being outside the White House on the evening Nixon resigned, and covering the Beatles as they performed on The Ed Sullivan Show.

“On some level, my life has been wasted on me. After all, if I can’t remember it, who can?” she says.

These recollections (or, what Ephron can recall about them) are among the best part of I Remember Nothing. The rest is more along the lines of reflections and musings on various topics such as divorce, email (a section that feels a little dated), thinning hair, and other vestiges of growing older. The essay about having a meatloaf named after her in a restaurant is especially well-done, and there’s a poignant story about her plans for a potential inheritance from an uncle that will resonate with every writer. (Ephron was struggling with a screenplay at the time and the windfall from the uncle would have made that go away. We would have also not have had one of our most classic movies.)

There is a passage about her being on her deathbed, which is just downright eerie now. And the ending of I Remember Nothing, two lists of “What I Won’t Miss” and “What I Will Miss” (after she has gone) are bittersweet and prompt a bit of reflection on what one will miss (and not miss) of one’s own life.

Still, at the risk of seeming to speaking ill of the dead, I Remember Nothing feels a little … disjointed. If you’re familiar with Ephron’s movies and her writing, you won’t find much new ground here. What you will find is Ephron’s trademark snark and sardonic wit, some good entertainment and laughs if you’re in a bit of a funk and need a quick hit of humor to relieve you … and an ironic, bittersweet reminder that despite her feeling of growing old, Ephron really wasn’t as old as she thought she was.

copyright 2012, Melissa, The Betty and Boo Chronicles If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

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