on April 28, 2011
To be honest, my main reason for buying this book was that I was a huge "Outsiders" fan back in the early 80's. I always felt Rob was the best looking Greaser in the cast & as the years passed, also felt he was the best looking of the Brat Pack. I certainly didn't expect his book to be more than a compilation of stories about his life in Hollywood but it is more than that. He discusses his parent's divorce, his mother's depression, their financial struggles & his love for his wife & sons. He also gives Outsiders fans a great behind-the-scenes look into the making of that film. He is very candid & exposes himself as a flawed human being like the rest of us. He does discuss other Hollywood pals & tells some great stories but he doesn't make their celebrity the focal point of these tales or his book. A must read for those who loved the movie the Outsiders and anyone who is a fan of Rob's.
on May 2, 2011
As several other reviewers have mentioned, I ordered this book for my Kindle after seeing Rob on "Oprah!" last week. I'm almost finished with it (2 more chapters to go) and have enjoyed every word.
Those readers looking for salacious, mean-spirited gossip won't find it here. But Rob does talk a great deal about the famous folk he's been involved with over the years: JFK Jr., the Sheens, Daryl Hannah, Princess Stephanie of Monaco, and of course his fellow members of the Brat Pack. His fondness for many of them shines through, and he describes the relationships in such a way that I felt I'd had an honest little glimpse of each one.
As a movie and TV buff for most of my life, I loved the behind-the-scenes glimpses of Rob's various projects, particularly "The Outsiders" and "The West Wing."
Others may pick up this book with different expectations, but I've found it well worth the investment of time and money. Thanks, Rob, for the interesting peek inside your various worlds: son and brother, fledgling actor, Brat Packer, Hollywood superstar, and finally, devoted husband and brother.
on April 27, 2011
As soon as I read the book excerpt in Vanity Fair I knew I would have to read Rob Lowe's book and it does not disappoint. He has had a very interesting life and shares the details with a humbleness you would not expect. Whether you are a huge fan of his work over time or fell for his way too good looking young face 25 years ago (which has only improved with age)Rob reveals himself and his imperfections, vulnerabilities , and genuine spirit. I thoroughly enjoyed the read and would like to thank Mike Myers for suggesting he write it.
on May 2, 2011
Rob puts great detail into his early years; his somewhat dysfunctional family and his fascination with movies and acting. The best stories are the ones where famous people cross his path early in his career and the impact they have later (JFK Jr, the Sheen family, Cary Grant). My one complaint is that he glossed over a few important events. He says that the fallout from the sex tape scandal was the catalyst to his sobriety but barely mentions the event itself. Also, his wife of 20 years is introduced very abruptly, his mother's mental illness during his younger years is discussed in great detail but her sudden recovery isn't. The West Wing is the last thing that he discusses in any detail even though his work on Brothers and Sisters was some of his best (heart attack episode, anyone?)but he only mentions it in one sentence. Having said all that, I actually liked Rob's style of writing. It was a quick and fascinating read. It felt like he ran out of time before the publishing deadline and that maybe there are more stories to come.
I was never a big Rob Lowe fan during his heyday. I guess I just considered him a very fortunate and moderately interesting pretty boy. Except for The West Wing I couldn't even remember a single movie the guy was in. Sorry.
I bought this book after reading an excerpt in Vanity Fair. What an absolutely delightful surprise. Thoroughly entertaining, funny, insightful, reflective and a little saucy. Something he can be very, very proud of. It isn't often that I pre-order a book sight unseen by an unknown author, but I'm really, really glad that I did so this time.
If you're a fan of Mr. Lowe or just a fan of the movie industry, I strongly recommend you buy this book. It will keep you engrossed and leave you with a positive feeling at the end of it all that this guy turned out pretty good (not just pretty). I think I might need to plan a Rob Lowe retrospective movie week-end in the near future.
on May 19, 2011
I'll start by saying that I'm an attorney, writer, avid reader, and cinephile and "St. Elmo's Fire" and "About Last Night" are two of my favorite movies -- in part because I was in my 20s when they came out -- so, on one hand, I'm probably more critical of books and on the other hand, I love this stuff. Honestly, this book was so interesting and very well-written. He has had an incredible life, and there are really interesting personal encounters he's had with famous actors his whole life, even when he was a kid living in Dayton OH, some even before he was famous (before "The Outsiders" came out). The book is also funny. Truly LOL funny sometimes. It was a revealing story about a literally beautiful person with insecurity (in part because he was shunned as a nerd and theater geek in school) that didn't match up to what he appeared to be on the outside -- assumptions assumptions (guilty) -- and how that affects your life. (This review is actually from an email I wrote my sister, but I decided to share since I already sounded like a commercial). I came away having been entertained and having a lot of respect for Rob Lowe, who has proved he's more than a pretty face.
***** SPOILER ALERT *****
I was so amazed at the people he's met: Liza Minelli (when he was not even a teenager), Darryl Hannah (as a teenager before she was famous -- by a fluke), John Kennedy, Jr., Lucille Ball, and the most amazing one I thought was that he dated Cary Grant's daughter (charming story there about the most wonderful Cary Grant). He also talks about his affair with Princess Stephanie of Monaco -- wild. He also grew up with Sean and Chris Penn and Emilio Estevez and his crazy ass bro Charlie Sheen (who was crazy even then)(& he later worked with their dad on "The West Wing")... and he went to high school w/ Robert Downey Jr. I was also amazed with the inside stories of his making "The Outsiders," "St. Elmo's Fire" and "About Last Night." It was also interesting to me to hear about the actual workings of Hollywood and that Rob Lowe is actually smart, took AP French, and that his dad is a lawyer and his mom suffered from bouts of apparent depression. Cool book. Incredible life.
on May 4, 2011
I didn't know much about Rob Lowe and I haven't seen the movies that made him famous- I just enjoy autobiographies and movies. The first thing that stuck out to me is that this book contains some amazing, expressive writing. He laughs and marvels at his past, but also views it from a distance, as a changed person. Describing the pain his parents caused him, he writes, "Anything painful surrounding my parents' breakup I sealed off and buried, left unexplored and undisturbed, like nuclear waste." Aside from a painful childhood, he is positive about basically everyone else he's ever met or dated and doesn't dwell on any negative events or relationships. It's fascinating to see him go from a lonely kid to a superstar dating a princess while never fully absorbing the stardom in a lot of ways, insecure about being compared to Matt Dillon and still struggling to find and prove himself.
There are fun parts to the book where he describes hanging out with Tom Cruise and Charlie Sheen as kids, and there are also the very human parts where you see how he's become a family man: "But there are many other lessons that teenage boys need to learn. And most of these can't be taught over pizza at midnight or on the tennis court. I only know this now because I see it with my own teen sons. They don't really listen to speeches or talks. They absorb incrementally, through hours and hours of observation. The sad truth about divorce is that it's hard to teach your kids about life unless you are living life with them... while you negotiate love and the frustrations and complications and rewards of living day in and out with your wife. Through this, they see how adults handle responsibility, honesty, commitment, jealousy, anger, professional pressures, and social interactions. Kids learn from whoever is around them the most." I recommend this book to anyone who likes autobiographies, is interested in what it's like to be a Hollywood actor, or who is a big fan of Rob Lowe.
on May 9, 2011
The book was a great read. I was entertained by all the stories and by the highs & lows of his life. The book moves along at a quick pace and is entertaining from start to finish. Four comments on the negative side: 1. the book focused very heavily on The Outsiders. While it was pretty interesting, especially as it was his breakout role and there were many other familiar actors in the movie too, it was one of the rare flushed out stories in a book full of shorter tales from his life. 2. Virtually no mention of his long-term, on-again/off-again several year relationship with Melissa Gilbert. I thought this was disingenuous and also disrespectful of her, someone whom he shared many years of his life and someone who was almost the mother of his child (before the miscarriage). 3. After several mentions early on of (future) actors like Charlie Sheen, Sean Penn, Tom Cruise etc he rarely if ever mentioned them again. I wanted to know about future interactions with these friends/acquaintances from his early life. 4. Very little about his brother Chad and nothing at all about his entry into movies. So, I liked what I did read, but just wish there was a little more detail and substance in the book and that threads brought up earlier were continued. That said, it was still a good book. Four stars.
on May 7, 2011
After seeing Rob Lowe on GMA discussing his book, I decided to take a chance and buy it. My biggest surprise was that I actually took no chance. This is a great book. Well written story of a boy and his dreams becoming a man with his dreams. Wonderful stories of Hollywood as Mr. Lowe was lucky enough to experience it. Plenty of laughs, and even a few tears. Thank you, Mr. Lowe for not only great performances in many of my favorite movies and the best TV show ever, but also a book that makes me believe that not everyone in Tinsel Town is as much of a loser as your boyhood friend Charlie.
This is one of those memoirs that seemingly shouldn't have been written at this point in time. Rob Lowe is way too young and still has a viable career so he isn't the perfect candidate for an 'autobiography' since he obviously has plenty of living to do. With that said, I thought this was a great book that I prefer to think of as Lowe's ACT I.
Obviously it may be difficult to get past the fact that Lowe has always been darn good lookin'. He's like a fine wine which only gets better with age, but on a certain level this story is so interesting that you can almost get past the handsome stuff.
Lowe starts out slow as a transplant from Ohio at the age of 8 who gets plunked down in Malibu. He starts out as a kid actor who is "connected" as he morphs into something of a teen idol and banner carrier of the 'brat pack'. Admittedly shallow as a youth, you are taken through his heyday as a celebrity darling while he makes headlines and consorts with a bevy of beauties while he lives the Hollywood lifestle which includes sex, drugs, and rock'n'roll. For Lowe, admitting to and getting help for an addiction to alcohol seems to be one of the many turning points in his life. Marriage and parenthood follow along with a more mature attitude toward his career and commitment to his family.
This book is loaded with anecdotes taken on and off movie sets which are invariably interesting and often funny. It also is the inevitable and oft-repeated story of the excesses of early fame and the necessity of honing coping mechanisms to survive in the Hollywood state of mind.
What makes this book stand out is Lowe's ability as a natural storyteller and his inherent niceness. He is not mean spirited and there is a lot of humor and affection in regard to his friends and associates that really shows.