Sunday, July 13, 2014

Review: I Don't Know What You Know Me From


I love Judy Greer. I have for years - probably since I watched The Wedding Planner for the first time. I had a feeling her book, I Don't Know What You Know Me From: Confessions of a Co-Star would probably be funny and really enjoyable but you can't always expect that with celebrity books. In this case though? Greer's book was awesome, funny and real, and I didn't want to put it down.

Here's what the book is all about:
You know Judy Greer, right? Maybe from The Wedding Planner, 13 Going on 30, Carrie, Arrested Development, or The Descendants. Yes, you totally recognize her. And, odds are, you already feel like she’s your friend.
In her first book of essays, I Don’t Know What You Know Me From, Greer writes about everything you would hope to hear from your best friend: how a midnight shopping trip to Walgreens can cure all; what it’s like to wake up one day with stepchildren; and how she really feels about fans telling her that she’s prettier in person. Yes, it’s all here—from the hilarious moments to the
intimate confessions.
But Judy Greer isn’t just a regular friend—she’s a celebrity friend. Want to know which celebs she’s peed next to? Or what the Academy Awards are actually like? Or which hot actor gave her father a Harley-Davidson? Don’t worry; Greer reveals all of that, too. You’ll love her because, besides being laugh-out-loud funny, she makes us genuinely feel like she’s one of us. Because even though she sometimes has a stylist and a makeup artist, she still wears (and hates!) Spanx. Because even after almost twenty years in Hollywood, she still hasn’t figured everything out—except that you should always wash your face before bed. Always.
I will admit that I haven't watched a ton of Greer's recent work (Archer, Arrested Development, and more). I am, as you can imagine, a huge fan of her roles in The Wedding Planner and 27 Dresses (in fact, I think I found her character more interesting than Heigl's in that movie...). The amusing thing about this is that Greer would probably be able to figure that out. Right off the bat she talks about this:
"...I could sit down with you and maybe tell you what you liked me from. I would look at your age, sex, and clothing and probably be able to pinpoint what role I've played that you responded to. It's a little like racial profiling, but with fans: fan profiling." (page xiii)
My favourite thing about this book was how real Greer is. She didn't hold anything back...not about her life growing up, not about how hard it was to get into the world of Hollywood (and how scary LA was to her in the beginning), and not about her life as a step-mom. Sure, we don't really have the whole story (do we ever get that?) but you can tell that she isn't trying to fake anyone out or make her life out to be something that it's not. She's up front about everything and I love it.

My second favourite thing about this book Greer's humour. She is one funny lady. I found myself laughing out loud more often than not as I was reading this one. That's not to say it was all fun and games, but the overall tone of this book is a lighthearted one.

I really liked how the book was set up. It's not really written in a true memoir style. Instead, Greer has written many separate essays that come together to tell the story of her life, so far. I think this kept things from being boring as it meant she could quite easily skip over things that may not have been very exciting. I also liked that she made sure to tell her whole story - from childhood (Part 1 - Early Life), to figuring out the whole acting thing (did you know her name is a stage name?) and breaking into the business (Part 2 - Hollywood Life), to her current family life (Part 3 - Real Life). I think you really get a sense of who she is and what her motivations are.

If you're going to take away anything from my review, I hope it's that you understand that is not your typical book written by a celebrity. Greer understands her place in the hierarchy that is Hollywood. She embraces it and, at one point in the book, explains that she may not be the star of the show but she has been getting good, consistent work since she got into the business. So, no, I don't think you should assume that Greer has written this book simply to make more money or gain more exposure. I think she's doing this because she had the desire and skill to share her life with her fans in an entertaining way. You can't fault her for that, can you?

I absolutely loved reading I Don't Know What You Know Me From. Judy Greer is definitely my favourite co-star and I'm so glad she wrote this book. It's funny and real and I enjoyed every minute I spent reading it. If you're a fan of celebrities, or even well written memoirs, check this one out. It's perfect for the summer!

*A copy of this novel was received from the publisher, Random House of Canada, in exchange for an honest review.*

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE this review, Kaley! I saw Greer's book a while back and was really interested. I, too, really enjoy several of her movies - and I definitely found her character more interesting than Heigl's in 27 Dresses. I was wondering how her humour and writing style would come across, and it sounds like a great read. She's an actress who's work I've always enjoyed and always wanted to see more of, so it's fun to get to "see" more of her via writing!

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