Saturday, December 3, 2016

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

Scratched another female celebrity memoir off the to-read list! Yaaass!

I was telling someone the other day that celebrity memoirs tend to follow a particular format.

First you have the introduction, a la Troy McClure: "Hi, I'm ______. You may know me from _____, _____, and ______."

Then you have the idyllic childhood with the charming quirks meant to foreshadow their life in showbiz. Don't worry: it's not too idyllic of a childhood. There's always one core issue, be it an absentee parent, a traumatic incident, or a bout of drug addition or the resurgence of a physical or psychological health problem, that casts a shadow on their perfect life and makes them more relatable.

After that, you have the journey to stardom. They talk about their humble origins, and how hard they had to work to get to where they are today. This is followed by the "near fail" and/or the "lucky break" in which the celebrity talks about an incident that almost caused them to give up and/or the opportunity that gave them a firm foothold for the position they hold now.

Finally, in the epilogue, you have the extensive thanks, in which the celebrity talks about all the people they are so grateful for, and also they are talented, wonderful, kind people, and so awesome.

As you can tell, I read a lot of celebrity memoirs. I am not ashamed of this. Some people have Candy Crush or Chipotle. I have celebrity gossip. We all have our guilty pleasures, and this is mine. But I will say that after a while, I kind of feel like I'm reading the same story over and over again, only with different dressing. Amy Poehler is a wonderful human being and I love her comedy and her acting, but she, too, follows the rules of the celebrity memoir to a T.

The best parts of YES, PLEASE are definitely the parts where she talks about her work on Parks and Rec and the pranks she plays with other celebrities (I love the stunt she pulled with George Clooney). I didn't know about her work in Haiti, but that only proves in my eyes that she's just as nice as she seems in interviews. Also, her friendship with Tina Fey is #lifegoals.

Random aside: the inspirational quotes and artsy poems/dialogues interspersed throughout the work were a little strange. Did anyone else think so? Here you have a memoir about this famous comedian, and then there's inspirational quotes that you'd expect to see on a basic girl's designated PSL mug. Some of them were kind of sweet, but most were just kind of like, what. (You're such an odd little cinnamon roll, Amy Poehler.)

If you are a fan of Amy's work, loved her on SNL and/or Parks and Rec, or she features regularly in your #WomanCrushWednesdays, then you'll probably love YES PLEASE. If, on the other hand, you don't really care for Amy's comedy and are just looking to get in on some juicy deets, move along. Amy herself says that when someone asks you to tell them your most embarrassing moment, silence is definitely a viable option - and she holds to that, here.

3 out of 5 stars.

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