Let's Just Say It Wasn't Prettyby Published 29 Apr 2014
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From Academy Award winner and bestselling author Diane Keaton comes a candid, hilarious, and deeply affecting look at beauty, aging, and the importance of staying true to yourself—no matter what anyone else thinks.
Diane Keaton has spent a lifetime coloring outside the lines of the conventional notion of beauty. In Let’s Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty, she shares the wisdom she’s accumulated through the years as a mother, daughter, actress, artist, and international style icon. This is a book only Diane Keaton could write—a smart and funny chronicle of the ups and downs of living and working in a world obsessed with beauty.
In her one-of-a-kind voice, Keaton offers up a message of empowerment for anyone who’s ever dreamed of kicking back against the “should”s and “supposed to”s that undermine our pursuit of beauty in all its forms. From a mortifying encounter with a makeup artist who tells her she needs to get her eyes fixed to an awkward excursion to Victoria’s Secret with her teenage daughter, Keaton shares funny and not-so-funny moments from her life in and out of the public eye.
For Diane Keaton, being beautiful starts with being true to who you are, and in this book she also offers self-knowing commentary on the bold personal choices she’s made through the years: the wide-brimmed hats, outrageous shoes, and all-weather turtlenecks that have made her an inspiration to anyone who cherishes truly individual style—and catnip to paparazzi worldwide. She recounts her experiences with the many men in her life—including Warren Beatty, Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino, and Sam Shepard—shows how our ideals of beauty change as we age, and explains why a life well lived may be the most beautiful thing of all.
Wryly observant and as fiercely original as Diane Keaton herself, Let’s Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty is a head-turner of a book that holds up a mirror to our beauty obsessions—and encourages us to like what we see.
Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty Reviews
It Was Pretty Awful, May 2, 2014
This review is from: Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty (Hardcover)
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Have you ever watched the Oscars and wondered how these "stars" were capable of reciting their lines in the movies when they flub a two-line introduction or list of nominees? It certainly has brought me to reality about their talent and their possible lack of intellect. Not so at the Tony Awards where the presenters perform on a live stage and cannot botch their lines without an instant negative response. Movie stars receive the gift of umpteen takes to get it right.
Reading Diane Keaton's book is exactly how I felt when I watch some Oscar presenters create a total disillusion. I was brought down to earth reading her book, I actually thought she was a stalwart, single woman who was not obsessed with her age or looks and could overcome adversity. Well, with good directors, she has come off that way, which I presume makes her a good actress.
In this chronicle of beauty and age obsession, Ms. Keaton jolted me into boredom and disbelief. She apparently is jealous of any woman with thick hair and has become crazed with covering her hair, which I never thought was noticeable. She is even jealous of her sisters' hair and is sure her daughter, Dexter, will always have thick, shiny hair the rest of her life. Women with thick hair often suffer thinning as they age, come on. I would want the floor to open, also, if my mother described my bra size and fitting at Victoria's Secret in a published book! What was she thinking? Her children should be off base. Why would a mother, without money problems, move her children almost every two years? Doesn't that tell us something? And hence, my reason for one star rather than two stars or more. A "movie star" can pontificate about herself or her philosophy ad nauseum but delving into your children's very personal physical or behavioral traits is unfair. The scene in Victoria's Secret was Diane's reaction to sexual freedom and fun. Unfortunately, her daughter became the focus.
I know she is quirky, which was the charm that I previously found attractive in her acting. Now, it's way over the top.
In this erratic chain of essays, Keaton targets her philosophy of beauty and her possible lack of vanity. Unfortunately, it all becomes a trivial effort. She rambles.
Does she really not realize how lucky she is? She alludes to being rather shallow, but I don't believe she realizes her superficiality blinds her to reality. This book was a waste of my time. With all the bright women out there, including actresses, there are many who deserve to be published but not Ms. Keaton.
"Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty" lives up to it's title. For me, let's just say it was a waste of time. Too much introspection, too many complaints about getting older and too much name dropping. I read about half this book before giving up and just skimming to the end.
This was only published because of the author's name. I love Diane Keaton as much as the next human but this is a truly boring, messy, naval-gazy book.
Unfortunately, there is one major flaw in Diane Keaton's "Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty" - the book is way too short! Ms. Keaton is a gifted author, with a humorous, honest style. I was captivated by her story from the first page and found it hard to put this book down. This is a fascinating glimpse into her life, her thoughts and even her house. I loved the chapter where she talks briefly about the "Prisoners on My Wall" - her collection of 48 photos of men she finds compelling and why- running the gamut from Abraham Lincoln to John Wayne and Sam Shepard; no, we don't find out who they all all, the author teases us with just a brief glimpse. In fact, I would say this is true about every subject she shares. In her musings on her life, her relationships, her proclivity for wearing hats, her thoughts on various aspects of beauty and how it is defined in the world of the famous, she shares her thoughts and experiences yet always leaves the reader wanting to know more.
Hers is an authentic voice, sharing without pretension. Reading this book felt like you were sitting and talking with her (and she had some interesting stories to tell!) This is no snide Hollywood-insider tell all; what we learn of her famous friends and lovers is told thoughtfully and respectfully. This is a woman who defines her life, rather than letting it define her.
I was unaware that Ms. Keaton had written a prior memoir "Then Again", I can't wait to read it, but in the meantime, I definitely recommend "Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty".
As a side note, one more reason I enjoyed this book was the fact that I not only admire the work she's done in movies, but I had my own personal Diane Keaton moment. While leaving Gladstone's Restaurant in Malibu one night, I passed a striking looking woman in a black gaucho hat worn at a rakish angle. In astonishment, my eyes locked onto Diane Keaton's from a distance of about 4 feet. I smiled and looked away, wanting to give her privacy, but it was memorable.
First of all, I have always liked Diane Keaton as an actress. She seems real and funny, and her characters, for the most part, are entertaining and worth the price of admission. But as a writer she sucks. This book contains nothing but a bunch of drivel. How can she make claims about being "true to yourself" when everything she writes to support that is just one long, boring overused cliche? Who are you, really, Diane? I almost had to laugh at the stuff she proffers as her "wisdom of being a wife, mother", etc., blah blah blah...
I offer you some of her more 'pithy' comments:
"My favorite part of my body is my eyes because of what they see." Gee, that was brilliant.
"I hear with my ears. I can see trees and sunsets." Wow. Another original.
"I will never marry. My love of the inward far overshadows the rewards of longevity." What the hello does that BS mean?
"I fell for the beauty of a broken bird?" Gag me.
"But the most thrilling aspect of my face is its ability to express feelings." Well, at least I will grant her that. She hasn't had any botox to freeze those all important facial "feelings"!
Believe me, I could go on and on...
So if you like this kind of new age, shallow and meaningless mumbo jumbo, then this is your book. But if you're a "real" person who is fed up with phony Hollywood celebrities who fancy themselves authors and intellectuals, then keep your distance from this particular "broken bird".