Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Review: Bossypants

Be warned: This review will might make you laugh. But don't worry. It's not because I've suddenly become funny; it's because I make reference to many pieces of Tina Fey's memoir Bossypants which sneakily makes it seem like I've developed a lot more hilariousness. I haven't.

In case you've been living under a rock, or any other such locale where you might never see a TV, magazine, newspaper, movie, billboard, etc. Tina Fey is a comedian (she wouldn't want to be called a comedienne, I don't think), TV/movie actress, writer, producer... (Do you see why I have a hard time believing you don't know who she is?) Bossypants is her little bit of insight into her life, her job, and quite prominently into what it's like to be a woman in her business. Though the book is far from being a preachy fem-Nazi feminist read.

Fey got her start in community theatre and, more importantly, improv. She has written for (and performed on) SNL (That's "Saturday Night Live" for the rock dwellers... To whom I ask: how are you reading this blog right now?), and most recently she has a little "non-hit" show called "30 Rock" which I hear is incredibly funny, (their Emmys would agree), but I've literally never seen an entire episode, so I can't really say for myself.  I mention these two "jobs" of hers because although the book is incredibly hilarious, (remember all the inappropriate laughing out loud I did?) it lacks a bit of flow. It's a bit of a mishmash of funny/interesting moments and things from her life, but they aren't necessarily told in chronological order. For a sketch comedy and sitcom writer, though, this would make sense. (Although Fey also wrote "Mean Girls" so it's not like she doesn't know how to tell a story!) Anyway, I'm likely to blame her editor for this. So, moving on.

The big story here is just how funny she is. I read this book lightning quick, mostly because I was laughing, and wanting to laugh more I saw the only route to this was to read more... and more... I spent a lot of time bursting out in laughter over simple word choices. She references feeling like an "asshat," writing "shit nuggets," and a desire for an old director to "go shit in his hat." In a brief discussion of motherhood she references a breast pump as a "Williams-Sonoma Tit Juicer." In this same discussion she also recalls different breast feeding methods. My favourite was: "one I like to call the Bret Michaels, where you kind of lie over the baby and stick your breast in its mouth to wake it up."

I want to be clear that it wasn't all lewd, fart-humour. (Though there is lots of that!) There's a bit of tenderness as she recalls bits about family and friends who helped her along her "journey to celebrity." And she does effectively highlight some of the struggles of being not only a woman in comedy, but a female in a position of power and authority (hence the title: Bossypants).

Recommendation: It's funny. Like, really funny. If you like Tina Fey, you'll love this book. If you're a woman with a sense of humour, you probably will like this book. If you're a man, you might like it, but you'll certainly laugh. So go read it. And then maybe we should all watch "30 Rock."

Up Next: Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin
Usually when someone tells you more than once to read a book, you probably should read it. Unless of course it's your smelly, kind of awkward 3rd cousin who has been begging you to read "Attack of the Mustard Squirting Zombies Part 74" or something equally as cringe-worthy. Then maybe, use your discretion. But in my case, the recommendation is coming from my equally book-obsessed older sister, so I figure I must be safe. Also, there was a movie made of it (Groan, I know I'm reading too many of these film adapted novels)... PLUS beginning this Saturday, I have 5 consecutive Saturday weddings, so a wedding-themed novel might be a fun way to get more in the spirit. Happy Reading!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You won't be disappointed ... AND plan to read the sequel - Something Blue!!!

~ Ashley