From Academy Award winner and best-selling author Diane Keaton comes a candid, hilarious, and deeply affecting look at beauty, aging, and the importance of staying true to yourself - no matter what anyone else thinks.
Diane Keaton has spent a lifetime coloring outside the lines of the conventional notion of beauty. In Let’s Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty, she shares the wisdom she’s accumulated through the years as a mother, daughter, actress, artist, and international style icon. This is a book only Diane Keaton could write - a smart and funny chronicle of the ups and downs of living and working in a world obsessed with beauty.
In her one-of-a-kind voice, Keaton offers up a message of empowerment for anyone who’s ever dreamed of kicking back against the "should"s and "supposed to"s that undermine our pursuit of beauty in all its forms. From a mortifying encounter with a makeup artist who tells her she needs to get her eyes fixed to an awkward excursion to Victoria’s Secret with her teenage daughter, Keaton shares funny and not-so-funny moments from her life in and out of the public eye.
For Diane Keaton, being beautiful starts with being true to who you are, and in this book she also offers self-knowing commentary on the bold personal choices she’s made through the years: the wide-brimmed hats, outrageous shoes, and all-weather turtlenecks that have made her an inspiration to anyone who cherishes truly individual style - and catnip to paparazzi worldwide. She recounts her experiences with the many men in her life - including Warren Beatty, Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino, and Sam Shepard - shows how our ideals of beauty change as we age, and explains why a life well lived may be the most beautiful thing of all.
Wryly observant and as fiercely original as Diane Keaton herself, Let’s Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty is a head-turner of a book that holds up a mirror to our beauty obsessions - and encourages us to like what we see.
©2014 Diane Keaton (P)2014 Random House Audio
"A far-reaching, heartbreaking, absolutely lucid book about mothers, daughters, childhood, aging, mortality, joyfulness, love, work and the search for self-knowledge." (The New York Times)
"A poem about women living in one another’s not uncomplicated memories... Part of what makes Diane Keaton’s memoir, Then Again, truly amazing is that she does away with the star’s ‘me’ and replaces it with a daughter’s ‘I.’" (Hilton Als, The New Yorker)
To the point: I don't dislike Keaton, I'm just not a fan -- I'm indifferent about Keaton. I didn't think Annie Hall was absolutely adorkable, and I didn't care for the much emulated fashion either. When friends started wearing gloves and turtlenecks in warm weather, I sincerely wondered if they had psoriasis, until another friend clued me in that it was a "Diane Keaton thing."
Every time I have seen Keaton interviewed, she seems to be an older extension of the Annie Hall character, still uncomfortable, self conscious, and awkward, now because she is aware that she is an older woman in an industry that devours anything female beyond 30. She comes on stage, is lovable and a little off-center, with that characteristic la-di-da body language. But looking beyond those high collars and bowler hats, and listening to what she has to say, is a study of intelligent contradiction. The actress is hardly a one dimensional goof-ball. She is observant, confident, self aware, and unapologetic about being passed middle-age in an unforgiving profession. Those un-botoxed eyes seem to look into the camera and declare, "Here I am, and I am beautiful, crow's feet and all!" It was this appreciation, and understanding of the value of earned beauty that drew me to this book.
Listening was like thumbing through Diane's journals. Each entry is its own story or experience, independent from the previous or the following. At times, it might seem a little disjointed, or extraneous, not unlike a meandering conversation between two people. She recalls memories, moments of gratitude, an epiphany here, a regret once in a while, lyrics that elicited vivid reactions (from The Shadow of Your Smile to Blurred Lines), old neighbors or friends. Many of her vignettes are shared moments between her and her two children. The most significant pieces deal with a young girl becoming a woman and trying to define herself through beauty product advertisements and *suggestions* about 'what to do with that bulbous nose' from film casting agents, or makeup artists, in a culture that valued beauty above all else. Fans expecting Keaton to dish on some of Hollywood's most beautiful leading men, or reveal any tongue wagging fodder will be disappointed. Those that admire her originality and conviction will enjoy sharing these little personal treasures from a woman that has gracefully endured in an industry that thinks 30 is old, age spots are unforgivable, and a sagging keester is the cold kiss of death.
Bottom line: It was OK, short, at times poetic and insightful, and it's always nice to read something that stays positive. But, if I had it to do over, I'd just sit down and re-watch Something's Gotta Give.
"Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty" was a reflection of how altered the public's perception of both fame and beauty have become. With the advent of reality shows and tabloid journalism,
that which is genuinely beautiful is portrayed as ordinary, and those who've been made "famous" are individuals who've done nothing for the improvement of the human race.
I thought Diane Keaton expressed quite accurately how distorted the concept of beauty has become, both in in the milieu of Hollywood, and in society in general. There are far too many people in Hollywood who are given reality shows and thereby made famous for nothing more than their own abhorrent behavior.
She depicted the the simplicity of days gone by in her youth when the world was a much different place in which to grow up.
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It wasn’t bad, wasn’t great, not boring, far from riveting, not sure I get it, don’t regret it… does that help?
German living in LA.
... nothing, I came to believe that this portraits the inside world of Diane Keaton accurately wich means I'm now not a fan anymore !
Where to start ?
I was convinced that the bad reviews just couldn't understand Diane Keaton...I would ! Now, I wished somebody would have said to her "Listen... " and maybe somebody had.It's a truly nauseating, namedropping, brand obsessed, lost touch if she ever had it, self-obsessed atrocity and the rare number of things worth hearing are so tainted by "it's all been said better before" and so trite that it would have been better to shut up all together.Quite shocking that publication... and boring, now that's an accomplishment !
I love Diane Keaton, her movies, her style. & personality....But I didn't like her book. She talked more about other people than herself. I had to skip through parts of the book because I simply found it uninteresting. Disappointing!
Not quite what I had expected. But good. I had a hard time following a time line. I felt like she jumped around a bit. But still enjoyable.
I very much liked Diane's tone and ability to portray an emotion, a situation or a vision. She is an excellent storyteller - too bad the story was a bit boring.
May - but only because I'm a huge fan of hers.
I really enjoyed this book. Maybe because I am the same age as Diane. Maybe because I related so much with what she experienced, what she felt. I love the way that she tells a story. Her honesty and frankness is refreshing.
She's such an original — funny, self deprecating, smart. Has known lots of interesting people and tells interesting stories about them. Did I get all the details I have no right to know? No, but that's a reflection of her loyalty and good taste.
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