My Review - 5 Stars
This came highly recommended by a few friends and since I was looking for a nonfiction audiobook for a road trip, I decided to give it a go. And what do you know? I haven’t been able to stop recommending it myself!
I was familiar with Busy Philipps from her stint on Dawson’s Creek, one of my favorite shows while it aired. And I certainly enjoyed seeing her friendship with Michelle Williams continue over the years. But I haven’t followed her career, nor do I follow her on Instagram, although I hear she’s hilarious in Stories. All that to say, I knew very little about her life going in to this.
Well. Let me tell you: it was a very entertaining way to spend the drive. She’s funny, although I only laughed out loud a few times. But her stories were gripping and I was fully enthralled, whether she was talking about teenage hijinks, past relationships, or the times she performed as a live Barbie for a toy expo. It's very well written and I was constantly impressed with how she'd draw a story to an end.
It was also very moving in places. She goes in-depth discussing her life-long anxiety, as well as postpartum depression. She also discusses the abortion she had as a teenager and the resolution to that particular story had me in tears. In fact, I teared up a number of times, especially when she talked about Heath Ledger’s death. It was so interesting to learn her perspective as his and Michelle’s friend. She also discusses the low points of her marriage and how they dealt with it.
There was so much I didn’t know about her career or past relationships. She speaks frankly about the fat-shaming and sexism she dealt with. I’ve been wanting to cancel James Franco for a while but now I really want to. I had no idea of her involvement in Blades Of Glory or how her ex and his brother tried to cut her out. She also had great thoughts about #MeToo, especially as someone who still doesn’t know what to make of the first time she had sex (I’d say she was raped) and knew Harvey Weinstein and Quentin Tarentino. How she reckoned with the latter was note-worthy.
The audiobook production really elevated my experience. Busy narrates it herself and that brought a whole other layer of appreciation, as she reacted to her words. There were a few times you could hear her getting choked up. Or she’d laugh in places to bring the emotion of a lighter story more fully to life. Her voices for different people were great. I’m not going to follow her on Instagram any time soon but she has a new fan in me and I look forward to seeing where her career goes next.
CW: anxiety, postpartum depression, rape/sexual assault, injuries requiring surgery, unplanned pregnancy, abortion, death of loved ones, reference to friends dying in a plane crash, 9/11, sexism, misogyny, graphic details of pregnancy and labor, fat-shaming, drug use (there may be more but this is what I remember post-car ride.)
Busy Philipps’s autobiographical book offers the same unfiltered and candid storytelling that her Instagram followers have come to know and love, from growing up in Scottsdale, Arizona and her painful and painfully funny teen years, to her life as a working actress, mother, and famous best friend.
Busy is the rare entertainer whose impressive arsenal of talents as an actress is equally matched by her storytelling ability, sense of humor, and sharp observations about life, love, and motherhood. Her conversational writing reminds us what we love about her on screens large and small. From film to television to Instagram, Busy delightfully showcases her wry humor and her willingness to bare it all.
I’ve been waiting my whole life to write this book. I’m just so grateful someone asked. Otherwise, what was the point of any of it?
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