Huffpost Books
THE BLOG

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Nikki Luongo Headshot

Unsinkable: Debbie Reynolds

Posted: Updated:

The last of the original Hollywood legends are slowly fading, those who remember when Hollywood was about the glamour and not who's been arrested or being sent to rehab because of an arrest charge, when being an actor was something sacred and spectacular. The movies of the past were instant classics and the actors in them made us want to become one of them, almost like a cult except with fabulous clothes and dream houses.

Debbie Reynolds is last of the Mohicans, she is one of the few actresses who can say they made the transitions from black and white films, to color, she has starred in some of the biggest films of the 20th century with some of the most iconic actors including Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. Her career is the stuff up and coming actors can only dream off. The length of Debbie's career spans from the 1950s through 2012, along the way the she maintained a resume that involved in theater and television, most notable for being cast as Grace's mom, on Will and Grace. But along with her impressive career, she has had her share of scandal and failures.

Debbie was involved in one of the biggest triangles involving Elizabeth Taylor and her then-husband, Eddie Fisher, when Eddie left her for the still grieving Taylor, who's husband Mike Todd perished in a plane crash. After bouncing back from that scandal, she remarried twice and both husbands cleaned her out financially and yet she still prevailed, even when her hotel was put up for auction and her dream of owning a Hollywood Museum to house her collection of Hollywood costumes of the past was dashed twice.

But this legendary actress has prevailed and moved past those disappointments to write a sequel to her 1983 memoir which left at her third marriage in which her husband convinced her to build a hotel only to run it into the ground, this memoir was supposed to be a reflection on the 1980s through 2013 which should have including daughter Carrie Fisher's experiences with bipolar disorder, son Todd's experiences as curator of his mom's museum and her career from where the previous book had ended except this was so far from it.

Over the first 400 pages was all about the downfall of her hotel intertwined with flashbacks and out of the blue comments, it was like she would think of one story then suddenly remember something else not quite relevant then go back and talk about the previous story, it was so confusing and after awhile I had to restart the book to make sure I hadn't missed anything.

At one point, the book flips suddenly to her early days at MGM and she writes about her career and the actors she worked with, the directors, what she learned and was able to use for future reference. She literally goes through every single movie she's ever done right up until her latest film Behind the Candelabra: the Liberace Story which stars Michael Douglas and Matt Damon in which she plays Michael Douglas's mother.

I don't know if it's because I didn't read her first book which in the long run wouldn't have mattered because she goes all the way back to her opening days at MGM but I think Ms. Reynold's was trying to jam so much of her memories in so many pages that it became cluttered and almost overwhelming.

At a certain point, it felt like she was just having a conversation with whomever was typing for her and they were just writing down everything she said, not making sure it was relevant.

What I kinda was disappointed at was, since Elizabeth Taylor and Eddie Fisher have both passed away, she didn't vent her feelings. I realize as a mother she didn't want to bash the father of her children but considering how many times Carrie Fisher has ridiculed the man, I thought maybe she'd dig into the anger and frustration over the situation. But I guess since so much time has passed its not worth it anymore. Back in 2005, someone asked Debbie how close she was to Elizabeth, she replied "I gave her my husband, how much closer can you get?"

It would be so much better I think if there were more closure to the stories, but each story just hangs there until she switches back and it's confusing. I realize that to cram a 70-year career into a 500 page book is nearly impossible and there were some moments I was surprised at especially when she bypasses the fact she's still crushing on Robert Wagner.

Some of my Hollywood buddies might think I'm totally wrong for thinking that maybe this book could have done differently and that it would have been great if it had been jointly written by both Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, sort of like a mother-daughter take on the events of the past... I can't criticize too harshly considering I can't even finish my own book.

In a long list of celebrity memoirs that are coming out in the month of April alone, Unsinkable was right up there with Carol Burnett's book on her daughter but like her famous character Molly Brown, this book has gone down with the ship with no help of a life-raft.

Have you read this book yet? Do you think I'm dead-ass wrong or maybe things could have been switched around a bit?