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