At a certain time in life, we all come to realize what is truly important to us and what just doesn’t matter. For Shirley MacLaine, that time is now. In this wise, witty, and fearless collection of small observations and big-picture questions, she shares with listeners all those things that she is over dealing with in life, in love, at home, and in the larger world… as well as the things she will never get over, no matter how long she lives.
Among the things that Shirley is over: people who repeat themselves (“when you didn’t care what they said the first time”); conservatives and liberals; ill-mannered young people; the poison of celebrity (“Why do so many people want to be famous when they see how it can destroy your life?”); being polite to boring people (“If they won’t stop talking, I go into a trance and meditate”); getting older in Hollywood (“How peaceful it is not to have to look particularly pretty anymore or to wear a size 6”).
In the opposite camp, there are some things Shirley will never get over: good lighting (“Marlene Dietrich taught me how to light myself”); gorgeous costars (“The vanity of male actors is an impossible wall to scale”); performing live (“Yes, it is better than sex”); and above all, brave people with curious minds (“Fear is the most powerful weapon of mass destruction”).
Along the way, she recalls stories of some of the true greats she has known—Alfred Hitchcock, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, the two Jacks (Lemmon and Nicholson)—and ruminates on the state of Hollywood past and present. She recollects her relationships and romances with politicians (including two prime ministers), scientists, journalists, and costars.
Shirley MacLaine may be over all that, but this irresistible book ensures that we will never get over her.
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Getting over all that
This is a rant by any other name.
For someone who is supposed to take a broader, more metaphysical view, of life, MacLaine (who I otherwise truly like as an artist) seems to kvetch too much about young people and world events in that "in my day" critical, stereotypical-of-cynical-old-people stance. I had hoped she'd be more encouraging. Less cerebral, more spiritually uplifting. I don't know why I expected that, but I did. She seems pissed off by a lot of things none of us can control instead of sort of Zen-ish about it all. For example, there's a moment in the book in which she gripes about travel through airports and the TSA searches. I figured she'd be over that.... Most of us are....we don't like it, but I didn't really want to buy a book by someone bitching about it....and plenty of other silly things.
By the way....why not mention her daughter? Is she over her too?
Possibly. I'd like to read her memoir.
Yes, I enjoyed hearing her familiar voice.
I guess I'd like to hear what she has to say on a GOOD day.
- Maureen "Mom of a wonderful son! PhD Rhetoric/Composition; retired AF Captain, retired writing professor. Happy f/t RV traveler."