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Good story but lacking in depth and feeling in many parts
on June 8, 2013
I feel so conflicted about this book. On the one hand, I sincerely appreciate Dratch's honesty and willingness to share her story, and I felt that she came across as authentic and not trying to cherry-coat any of her experiences. On the other hand, I wish that her editor or someone would have encouraged her to peel back another layer to basically every aspect of this book and share more of her actual feelings about the situations. The things she was describing were interesting, but I felt her responses to the situations were not interesting in themselves (with the exception of parts of her passages on 30 Rock and of starting out at SNL).
For example, she describes a dating "crusade" as 3 different dates over the span of something like a year. In what world is 3 dates considered a crusade? I appreciate her honesty about the difficulties of dating, and the mistakes she'd made in the past by preferring not "nice guys" and suffering the consequences. It was just difficult for me to understand, as it was written, just what was so difficult about dating for her specifically - if she had peeled back another layer, let us know why it is that she was going for the "bad guys," then maybe it would have been more emotionally engaging for the reader, and also more of a relief when she met such a nice guy in the end. I just couldn't really connect with why she had gone for the difficult guys previously.
I also thought she was shockingly naiive when she discovered after SNL that she was expected to produce a "boner" along with a laugh...she said, "When did the rules change?" For better or worse, she had to have had the insight that a comedienne and/or actress's looks are taken into account when they are considered for a role...I'm not saying it SHOULD be that way at all, but in the real world, it is. How could someone who was in show business for 15 years not have picked that up? In some ways, it was actually refreshing to see that this was a surprise to her, but in others, it made me question the extent to which she accepts or confronts the reality of the business she's chosen. In contrast, those like Mindy Kaling appear to completely understand the realities of our culture's messed up standards for beauty, but Kaling confronts them head on with insight and actually is attempting to change the standards, which I find much more beneficial than Dratch's more defeatist approach.
That being said, the book really picks up in the latter half, when she discovers she is pregnant and works out a creative, realistic and modern arrangement with her boyfriend. As others have pointed out, the letter from her boyfriend's brother is just extremely touching and heartfelt. I just wish there was a little more of that level of feeling in Dratch's writing! I know she has it in her because I've seen her interviewed, something just didn't make it onto the page on this book, unfortunately for me.