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104 of 114 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Bittersweet Look Back...And Ahead
Diane Keaton follows up her book, "Then Again," which was a look back at her own life, but especially viewed through the eyes of her parents' marriage and family life in southern California. She returns with "Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty," a book ostensibly about the difficulties of aging, compounded by her career (actress). This book doesn't stop at surface...
Published 7 months ago by Geneva Lewis

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92 of 103 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Intimate, Almost Painful Glimpse Into Diane Keaton's Life
"Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty" will be released tomorrow, and it will be interesting to see how well it's received by fans of Keaton and readers in general. I came of age watching her onscreen. Loved her in a few of her roles. Admired her quirkiness, which seemed to make her more approachable/relate-able than other celebrities. When my pre-publication copy of her...
Published 6 months ago by E. M. Griffith


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104 of 114 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Bittersweet Look Back...And Ahead, April 25, 2014
This review is from: Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty (Hardcover)
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Diane Keaton follows up her book, "Then Again," which was a look back at her own life, but especially viewed through the eyes of her parents' marriage and family life in southern California. She returns with "Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty," a book ostensibly about the difficulties of aging, compounded by her career (actress). This book doesn't stop at surface observations or pity one-liners, it is a complex and deep book about the life we think we should have versus the life we actually have, and is a celebration and examination of beauty in all its definitions and the struggles girls face beginning with the understanding of "beautiful" versus "pretty." From stories about Diana Vreeland to a philosophical jaunt to Victoria's Secret with her teenage daughter who has a $200 gift certificate burning in her pocket, this book is full of thought-provoking inspiration and humor.

What I also find the book to be is a free-form, artistic offering of reminiscences and realizations, regrets and observations of a life filled with challenges, disappointments, and some joy (thankfully). This is a melancholy book, of a woman with loss (her parents, lovers) but also a steely determination to Be Herself, an extraordinary accomplishment in itself, but particularly in the milieu of Hollywood. What I love best about this book is Keaton's bravery at showing her vulnerability from youth to today, which can be viewed in the world as a liability but at its essence is the secret to her enduring success and connection with audiences the world over. A thoughtfully wrought, creative, and illuminating view of an artist and a woman.
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92 of 103 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Intimate, Almost Painful Glimpse Into Diane Keaton's Life, April 28, 2014
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E. M. Griffith "auntleesie" (Central Coast of California) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty (Hardcover)
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"Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty" will be released tomorrow, and it will be interesting to see how well it's received by fans of Keaton and readers in general. I came of age watching her onscreen. Loved her in a few of her roles. Admired her quirkiness, which seemed to make her more approachable/relate-able than other celebrities. When my pre-publication copy of her newest autobiography arrived, I truly wanted to love it. It's not surprising, though, that a few reviewers have already given it a 1 star rating.

Reading the introduction, this book almost seems to have been sparked by an online article titled 'Top 10 Female Celebrities Who Are Ugly No Matter What Hollywood Says', in which Keaton was number five. The writer refers to Keaton as being as old as dirt and ugly when she was younger. Which is unarguably a cruel, demeaning public opinion. Keaton seems to have taken it too much to heart; the 189 pages of "Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty" read like a cross between personal diaries and tabloid fodder. Most of the chapters meander. It's an *editor's* job to make a final draft flow with cohesiveness, so I won't fault Keaton there.

What I will say is she sometimes puts the capital M in TMI, and appears to be a walking, breathing contradiction in terms. For a mature, accomplished woman who admires (even embraces) individuality and advises women to be themselves proudly, she has a lot of dissatisfaction with just about every aspect of herself. There's humorous, mild, self-depreciation, and then there's ripping yourself to shreds unnecessarily... even painfully for the audience. Why? What's to be gained from it? And while her personal fashion style covers everything up, she lays her life and soul bare in this book. Or at least seems to. Including lingerie shopping with her teen aged daughter, sharing her daughter's sizes, style and color choices for the world to know. As a teenager, I would have wanted the earth to open up and swallow me whole, or at least move to a remote island without access to books, television, internet, etc. if my mom shared that kind of information publicly. As a mostly mature woman myself now, I don't need to know what Woody Allen looks like when he gets out of the shower or how many towels he steps on to dry off. Just... TMI.

Keaton writes: 'No one wants to be a dilapidated, broken-down, beat-up, out-of-date, cast-off, worn-out, stale example of a human being. We worked hard to become who we are... For those of us who've been separated from reality by fame, being old is a great leveling experience.' That seems to sum up her book pretty well. And I feel extremely grateful I'm not a celebrity, because I look at the aging process very, very differently. It should be celebrated. My mom is a vibrant, very social, active 81 year old today who had stage 4 breast cancer almost 2 years ago. She not only survived a mastectomy and cancer treatment, it didn't level her. Every day is celebrated. As it should be. Sad that Keaton doesn't see it that way.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic and Real, May 3, 2014
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This review is from: Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty (Hardcover)
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I adore Diane Keaton. When she started doing beauty commercials/ads – I remember thinking how beautiful she was and that “I want to be like her when I grow up”. (I’m in my forties.) She just looks radiant, comfortable in her own skin, and someone who is beautiful in an unconventional and fabulous way.

Turns out? She has the same worries and insecurities about her looks that I do – that we all do. At one point in “Let’s Just Say it Wasn’t Pretty” – she recounts a “bad hair day” she had when she ran into someone she knows. “I left my car with the valet, walked into the elevator, and immediately ran into Nancy. Just my luck. Just my **** luck. And of course she was chipper and tall and attractive. “You look good,” she said. I smiled, knowing she didn’t mean it. She hated my hair.”

And later, still worried about her hair as she watched her daughter Dexter in a swim competition, “Dex was in the water with 299 other people who weren’t thinking about their hair.”

At times, this book gets a little bit rambly and freestyle and I started to lose the thread of Keaton’s thoughts. But most of it was fascinating. I never expected, for example, to find out that one of the walls in her house is covered with pictures of men. She has Marlon Brando, Gary Cooper, Paul Newman, Morgan Freeman, Adrien Brody, Jeremy Renner… “In the end, there are two ways of seeing male beauty. Real or imagined. There’s the looking-in way and the being-seen way. There’s the man himself and the man I’ve made up. I’m guilty of one, and proud of the other.”

She admits to, despairs of and also relishes the anxiety she has about her outward appearance – which is refreshing from a movie star. “I am a sorry example of the truth that women, as well as men, are losing their hair. Not only do we have reduced circulatory system function but we’re losing lung capacity, too. It’s all pretty tragic. Our immune systems are shutting down, and I don’t know about anyone else, but there are changes in my vocal cords that seem to be producing a strange “old person” voice, which I hate worse than my envy of Michael Douglas’s hair.”

In the end, Diane Keaton is a woman just like any other. Not in what she has achieved or experienced, certainly, but in the everyday self-doubt that plagues us all.

“We all long to be confident, look great, and do well. We all want to be remembered. Sometimes we’re lost. Sometimes we’re found. But one thing’s for sure: no matter how much control we have over our appearance, we’re all awkward, laughable, ugly, and beautiful at the same time.”
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70 of 87 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Let's Just Say It Isn't Pretty or Worth Your Time, April 26, 2014
This review is from: Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty (Hardcover)
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If you like Diane Keaton you may not like this review. I like Diane Keaton too and I don't like this review. I hated writing it. I rarely give just one star.
I'll be brief and to the point. Diane Keaton should stick to acting. If you want to learn interesting things about Diane Keaton you won't find it here. Read a book about her, not by her.
This rambling, disjointed and often boring book is a waste of the 60- 90 minutes it will take you to read it...with many breaks to just get away.

The three prevalent threads running through this book, in addition to the frequent name, address and label dropping are beauty, insecurity and growing old.

On one page the author lists many ways the body declines with old age like losing hair, getting liver spots, immune system shutting down, changes in vocal chords that make us sound old, heightened risk of injury from falls, hearing loss, diminished eyesight and reduced mental abilities.

But this is more interesting than learning how many and what kind of bras and panties(with a lengthy 'B' or 'C' cup debate), her daughter bought at Victoria's Secret....or reading about the author's constant moving and house renovations, or her selection of men's clothing, or her long discussions about hair, or how she went barefoot to her son's school and talked to the librarian and hoped the librarian wouldn't notice, and then ducked into a janitor's closet when she saw the principal. Raise your hand if you smell a phoney. If Diane was a true free spirit she wouldn't care who noticed she was barefoot. If she had common sense she would have worn shoes. We also learn how she broke her toe (#5) walking backwards barefooted to help ward off dementia and employ the unutilized part of her brain.

Really?

I'd like to suggest that if you decide to read this book you won't be employing the unutilized part of your brain or any part of your brain. This mindless, pointless nonsense is not worth your money, your time or the paper it was printed on.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Meandering thought fest, June 3, 2014
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I like Diane Keaton as an actress, so was really looking forward to reading this book, plus it had gotten a good review in a magazine I read. Unfortunately, it was really pretty terrible. Stream of consciousness, name dropping in a very weird way, i.e.: all the time. and I feel like the only thing I learned is that Ms. Keaton seems to be the same person she has played in so many roles, kinda ditzy, with a hippie outlook.
Which is fine, I was just hoping there was more, and that her private persona was less flakey.
That said, she abundantly tells and shows that she is her own person, and the opinions of others don't matter. Except that they do, for all of us, and she seems like she is really trying too hard to explain and to be so different.
I'm bummed.
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58 of 74 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not What I Was Expecting...., April 25, 2014
By 
Daniel V. Reilly (Upstate New York, United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty (Hardcover)
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Why do celebrities think that we, as a society, stand to benefit from the wisdom that they've amassed over the course of their lifetime...?

LET'S JUST SAY IT WASN'T PRETTY is the latest in a long, unwanted string of celebrity "Essay collections", a trend which seems to have started with Tina Fey's book, BOSSYPANTS. Such books collect fill-in-the-blank's ruminations on various and sundry topics, kind of the "literary" equivalent of a stand-up comic doing the old "Hey, what's up with these airline peanuts...?" routine.

I picked up this book expecting an autobiography, stories about Diane Keaton's experiences making movies with Woody Allen, Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty, etc., and it's my own fault for not reading the description better, but this is, indeed, yet another book of celebrity ramblings, disguised as some kind of female empowerment screed.

Considering how reading is becoming a lost art, I am of the opinion that any woman who has the brains to pick up a book and read it is already way ahead of whatever advice Diane Keaton could possibly provide her. The book is pretty much exactly what you would expect to get if you sat down and had a LOOOOONG conversation with any one of Diane Keaton's film characters: Endless soliloquies about how terrible it is to get older, how ugly she feels, how terrible her hair is, how terrible her eyes/ears/face/nose/whatever is, followed by page after page telling you how bad it is to worry about your looks, and how you should just be happy as you are.

Is anyone desperate enough to need this kind of vapid affirmation from a celebrity? Especially one who is known for expressing the words/wit of a motion picture writer, as opposed to her own? This book was a real chore to slog through. The assumption of the author and publisher is that I am not the target audience, women are. I have more faith in the strength and taste of the female half of the species.....You don't need this poorly written, overly long collection of inspirational speeches to tell you how good you are.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It Wasn't, June 12, 2014
By 
Carla C. Kerr (Alamogordo, New Mexico) - See all my reviews
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Ms. Keaton writes like she talks and it becomes quite tedious to read. I found myself trying to catch my breath as I waited for a paragraph to be over. She uses many descriptive words to describe one noun or incident which I deem overdone. After watching Ms. Keaton on several talk shows touting her book, I really thought there would be more humor. I always like to learn something from what I read and in this case, it didn't happen.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This book was not good, June 5, 2014
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This review is from: Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty (Hardcover)
I bought this book thinkoing it would be about Diane Keatons life loves and films. Instead it was chapter after chapter about how she felt about her looks year after year starting from childhood. Had she have devoted one or two chapters to the subject then shared some of her very interesting life stories, the book would have been worth buying. But who is at all interested in how a woman obsesses about her looks for her entire life.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No, It Wasn't Pretty At All, July 5, 2014
Diane Keaton has always come across as someone who does not play up her looks but tries to bring the focus to her quirky personality. Sadly, after reading the first few pages it was apparent that she is indeed very looks focused and her playing down her looks i.e. with pants, hats etc. is based more from her angst about her appearance than anything else.

Diane spends the first chapter discussing how she loves strong minded women who are individuals. Then she points to the usual women who are good looking as examples with a few not noted for their looks thrown in. Instead of discussing why they are strong characters she zeros in on their looks. This continues on to Chapter2 where she swoons over the attractiveness of the well known male actors and Presidents in the photos and paintings hanging on her wall.

It was very shallow and sorry but I could not finish the book, it was that bad.

Diane, you are attractive. Yes you are getting older as all of us do. And no we can't look like we are in our teens. But have the grace to accept it and focus on what you have instead of what you do not have.

I really felt sorry for Diane, to have so much and to feel so lacking.
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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 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.
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Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty
Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty by Diane Keaton (Hardcover - April 29, 2014)
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