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Wishful Drinking

4.3 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews

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(Sep 13, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Wishful Drinking brings the unique sensibilities of actress/author Carrie Fisher to HBO via a 76-minute adaptation of her acclaimed one-woman stage production. As she demonstrates in this uproarious and often poignant performance, Carrie Fisher is not just an accomplished actress, screenwriter and best-selling author. She’s the offspring of show-biz royalty, daughter of celebrated actress Debbie Reynolds and crooner Eddie Fisher, whose very public affair with Elizabeth Taylor ended a storybook marriage. Despite growing up around movie stars and experiencing early fame of her own (she was cast as Princess Leia in Star Wars at 19), Fisher’s life was hardly enviable. She faced more than her share of challenges: tragic relationships, drug and alcohol addiction, stints in rehab, bipolar disorder, and electroshock therapy. That she has survived and even prospered in the face of such adversity is a tribute to Fisher’s resiliency, intelligence and, above all, heroic sense of humor. Wishful Drinking reveals the not-so-glittering side of being a celebrity, combining wry wit and raw facts to humanize Fisher’s topsy-turvy life, while de-stigmatizing the struggle of those living with mental illness.

Carrie Fisher is one of the most fearless, and hilarious, women in Hollywood. In Wishful Drinking, she turns her acid humor on her own life--shining lights on even the most painful corners of her long and arduous journey. Wishful Drinking is HBO's filmed version of Fisher's successful one-woman Broadway show, in which Fisher recounts all the highlights (and lowlights) from her career. It starts before Fisher is born, because her parents are crooner Eddie Fisher and perky actress Debbie Reynolds. Carrie recounts life with the "perfect Hollywood couple," and then her own forays into acting, most notably the Star Wars films, and marriage to singer Paul Simon.

And then there's madness. Fisher speaks frankly about the bipolar disorder that crippled her most of her adult life, and turning it into fodder for humor, while not diminishing its devastating effects. Some of the most riveting portions of Wishful Drinking focus on the great amounts of electroshock therapy she has undergone, and its debilitating effects on her memory. "It's not like One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest," she says reassuringly. "At least not that I would remember." Fisher also recounts in great detail the sordid affair that split her parents' marriage, when Eddie Fisher left Reynolds for Elizabeth Taylor. One of the show's funniest bits involves a giant pull-down "blackboard," on which Fisher has helpfully drawn a "family tree" of hookups and breakups that seem to touch nearly every famous person in Hollywood from the '50s on. She has a splendid insider story about Star Wars merchandising gone awry, and dishes about her marriages and pretty much everything else in her personal life. Through it all, Fisher reveals that her intellect (which has made her one of Hollywood's most in-demand script doctors) and sense of humor have not only survived all her trials--they have thrived. --A.T. Hurley

Special Features

My Alleged Mother - an exclusive interview with Debbie Reynolds

The Thing I Can't Forget

AA - Audiences Anonymous

Buy-Polar Boys and Girls

Product Details

  • Actors: Carrie Fisher
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: September 13, 2011
  • Run Time: 76 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0041KKZGE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,493 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Wishful Drinking" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on September 15, 2011
Format: Amazon Video
Carrie Fisher really doesn't like to be referred to as a survivor. Having endured the peaks and very deep valleys of a celebrity life, however, Fisher has seen more than most--and she's still here! "Wishful Drinking" is a delightful and self-deprecating one woman stage show that Fisher based off her book of the same title. It's an intimate, and fitfully funny, portrait of a woman who isn't afraid to bare her soul. From her famous parents Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, to their notorious romantic entanglements, to her marriage to Paul Simon, to her foray into superstardom with "Star Wars," to her descent into addiction, to her battle with mental illness--this brief evening of revelations is refreshingly candid and surprisingly lighthearted. By doing the unexpected, Fisher has established herself even further as a "survivor."

Fisher has an easy way with the audience and interacts with them freely--she still has an amazingly quick wit for someone who has seen many mind altering abuses as well as their treatments. For me, the absolute highlight of the show is a sequence called "Hollywood 101" or alternately "Hollywood Inbreeding." Bringing out an enormous chalk board, Fisher chronicles the dating/marriage history of her family. In a dizzyingly complicated set of relationships, Reynolds and Eddie Fisher seemed to have hooked up with everyone. If you love old Hollywood scandal, the dissection of Eddie Fisher's involvement with Elizabeth Taylor and Mike Todd humanizes an oft told tale.

There's also a funny bit about "Star Wars" merchandising, but the most intriguing moments detail a life into and out of institutions. This isn't a complete chronicle of Fisher's life by any means, but these peeks into the darkest corners of Fisher's world were both fascinating and disturbing.
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By arvint on December 12, 2010
Format: DVD
I have seen "Wishful Drinking" on stage at the Geffen in LA and I read the book. It is just fabulous and I want to buy the DVD when it comes out! If I had the money I would jet to NY and see it on Broadway!

I have a son one month younger than Carrie so I've followed her families coming and goings, as they say. It was such a hoot the spin she put on for the stage and for her book.

I came close to meeting Carrie at a Thalians event in LA I voluntered at at the Century Plaza in LA. Think the last I saw her at that event...all 4' 11" of her was chasing down some over six' ball players staying in the hotel. I wanted to yell, "you go girl" I wanted to join her.
Arlyn Rudolph
Palm Springs, California
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In the wake of great American comediennes such as Lucille Ball and Phyllis Diller,and more recently,Margaret Cho, there is another brilliant writer of comedy and standup comic - Carrie Fisher,whose work is ingenius in it's construction, and perfect in its delivery.
Being a child of Hollywood stars was never an easy gig for any kid. Having a mother who sang and danced with the likes of the great Gene Kelly, would have required long hours of rehearsal at the studio and less time at home, and a father who was a crooner trying to make his way in a music scene about to be over run by Rock'n Roll,meant for Carrie and her brother being tended to on occasion by a less than kind grandmother, who believed in "spare the rod & spoil the child".
There are no moments in Carrie Fisher's life - even the the downright horrendous - that can't be turned into fodder for her one woman show. A case in point would be the death,in her apartment,of her friend,Greg. Now Greg was a Republican (a fatal condition in itself, according to Ms Fisher)who had the temerity to die alongside Carrie in her bed. At this point Carrie asks her audience (as none of them had had this experience) if there is any question they'd like to ask her ? Finally, a voice calls out "What were you wearing?"
For me the highlight of the show was the introduction of the family tree - spread out on a blackboard with photos of all the "main players." We are then given a humorous rundown of Carrie's opinion of the men and women who married (and divorced) her parents at various stages of their lives.
Watching Ms Fisher's rapier like wit at work, one is aware of being in the presence of greatness,a survivor, a fine writer, a very funny comedienne, and after listening to her singing Happy Days Are here Again, it was obvious that the singing genes had definately been passed down from Debbie and Eddie.
Five ***** do nothing to accurately sum up "Wishful Drinking". I'd like to give it Ten ***** *****.
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Tell-all stories usually do neither; they don't tell much, and "all" is impossible. But "Wishful Drinking" is the harrowing story of one woman's descent into the abyss and her courageous ascent out of the pit.

Fisher is funny, deadly serious, zeroed in on the tale she is going to tell, and in spite of everything, hopeful about herself, her recovery, and her life overall. As long as her medication is balanced, anyway (as she's the first to point out). A lot of celebrities have had issues with drugs and alcohol (so have more non-celebrities). But Ms. Fisher's story relates to the human being in all of us who grapple with addictions. While I have long admired Carrie Fisher, as both actress and author,after seeing "Wishful Drinking" (and reading the book of the same title), I feel I know her. Fame and success and failure aside, she's just another person doing the best she can.

By telling her story, espeically in such a candid, engaging, and hilariously funny manner, Ms. Fisher takes on the stigma of addiction, alcoholism, and frequent episodes of sheer insanity, and knocks it down several pegs. Some will scoff that she's getting paid for this, and so she is. But does that really detract from the message? For the message rings clear: there is help; there is hope; and laughter can make one a survivor.

Worth seeing several times.
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