If You're Talking To Me Your Career Must Be In Trouble:
Movies, Mayhem, and Malice
NON FICTION BOOK REVIEW
Title: If You're Talking To Me Your Career Must Be In Trouble:
Movies, Mayhem, and Malice; by Joe Queenan; Hyperion;
Published February 1994; ISBN 1-56282-788-X; Hardcover;
282 pages; Can$28.95, U.S. $22.95.
Reviewer: A. T. Connellan, "Joe Queenan writes very, very
funny stuff. This is social commentary with a twist and comedic
writing on the outer edge of shocking. Even the index is off the
wall. If you don't love this one your funny bone must be in trouble."
Queenan tweeks twits
Home base for Joe Queenan is Movieline Magazine where most
of the essays chosen for this volume, were first published. In
preparation for the book, the author wrote to 75 actors and
actresses requesting interviews. Only 2 responded; "Liza Minnelli's
and Raul Julia's publicists wrote back to say no." That is hardly
surprising, considering the treatment they received from him in the past.
Humor is the most difficult form of creative writing. Few do it well,
although P.J.O'Rourke and Dave Barry come to mind. Joe
Queenan writes very, very funny stuff. This is social commentary
with a twist and comedic writing on the outer edge of shocking.
Even the index is off the wall.
Hilariously juxtaposing preposterous images, vivid word-pictures,
and outrageous similes, Queenan examines moviedom and it's
habitues with a wickedly sideways slash, leaving no ego un-bruised.
He is unstinting in his sarcasm and condemnation to the deserving.
No wonder Mick Jagger and Madonna aren't his pen-pals after
being described as"...the anorexic, simian...", and "Casting Madonna
as a girl who is supposed to be pixielike is like casting Heinrich
Himmler as the Tooth Fairy."
This is mild stuff compared to what he says about Christopher
"the worst actor who ever lived" Reeve, and Diane "...who cannot act..."
Keaton. You will have to read the book to see what he does to
Kiefer Sutherland, Barbra Streisand, and Mickey Rourke.
No one escapes; in "Clerical Errors" he analyzes the manner in which
the Catholic Church, and it's quirks, has been depicted in film. The
church's association with ethnic groups and organized crime is rich
fodder for Queenan. By clerical rank, he rates the best and the worst
movies, and then charts the two worst movies by mortal and venial
sins. Sacrilegious, you bet! Funny? I challenge you to read this
chapter with a straight face.
This is a "pick up and put down," lend-to-a-friend, pass it on, book.
None of us will have the opportunity to actually choose in advance
what goes with us if we are marooned on a desert island, but we
can select the array of reading for self-imposed exile to the cottage.
I defy you to make a better choice.
Not every essay hits the mark, but then even "the great one" has his
off-days. If you don't love this one your funny bone must be in trouble.
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