Thursday, November 12, 2015

Review: Drew Barrymore Book Talk & "Wildflower"

Image of book found here. Photo of Drew by Kathryn Arion.

Last week a friend and I went to Sixth and I in DC to see Drew Barrymore talk about her new book Wildflower. I love her movies, and I thought it would be fun to see a celebrity in the flesh!

Scott Simon interviews Drew Barrymore. Photo by Kathryn Arion.
Can I just say this: Drew is just as you imagine her to be. She's funny, light, and always smiling, just like in her movies. She really is the character she plays! This was so refreshing; I was afraid she might be one of those actors who is funny on screen but rather dark and serious in real life, like her close friend Adam Sandler. I enjoyed her talk, although she kept playing with her hair, which was a bit distracting! One of the funniest parts of the night were when Scott Simon gave her Reese's Pieces (a reminder of her role in the movie E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial), and Drew quoted Pretty Woman with "Big mistake!" about M&Ms turning down the chance for their candy to be in the movie. I also enjoyed when she described motherhood as the "hamster wheel from hell." Even Drew Barrymore isn't trying to convince me to have kids! I was especially inspired when she answered a question from an audience member regarding confidence in young women. Drew simply said, "Put your head down and do good work." If you know your work is good, you can be confidence in it, and therefore yourself. Such words of wisdom! Drew had a rocky childhood (which she mentioned in person and in her book, but she is not bitter or resentful), and it is clear that she grew through those tough times to become the woman she is today.

Her talk and her book focus a lot on her two daughters and her role as mother. Although the talk gave away some parts of the book before I had the chance to read it, the book isn't a front-to-back story, so that was okay. Each chapter is a little snippet from her life: one about E.T., one about her dog, one about her terrible time trying to be domestic and make pancakes for breakfast, etc. The chapters are not in chronological order, since they really are just a bunch of Drew's memories written down. As she pointed out in her talk, when you remember something from your past, it doesn't happen in order of how things occurred! So the chapters jump back and forth from her childhood, to her own children, to the making of Charlie's Angels, and back again. I also like how each chapter starts with a photograph, either of herself, her daughters, her dog, other family members and loved ones, etc.

While I enjoyed the book (a fun and easy read), writing is clearly not Drew's number one focus. She writes like she talks: swear words, lots of exclamation points to show her enthusiasm, and the like; this isn't "literature" (though it's not meant to be). She overused phrases like "took the training wheels off" and "a face that just ate a lemon," and she mention Pavlov more than once in her short book! There was also a glaring typo which used the word "ready" instead of "read" in reference to books. A typo about reading in an actual book: the irony!

That's me talking to Drew! Photo by Chelsea Suydam.
But I have to say, this event brought me the highlight of my life (so far). As I walked up on stage to have Drew sign my book, I said, "Thank you so much for your talk! It was amazing!" and she responded, "Well, you're amazing!" Drew Barrymore called me amazing! AAAAHHHHH!

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