Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Both of Us - O'Neal

He was the good-looking, award-nominated star of movies such as Love Story and Paper Moon. She was the all-American girl, whose flowing blonde locks and perfect body were immortalized in an unforgettable poster, and one of the stars of the popular 1970's detective drama Charlie's Angels. Together, they were one of Hollywood's best known and loved couples.

But Farrah Fawcett and Ryan O'Neal were also human. And despite a deep, deep love, their relationship was fallible. Both came with baggage, particularly Ryan who had two exes and three children (two of whom struggled with addiction, a fate that Fawcett and O'Neal's own son Redmond eventually faced).

In his memoir Both of Us: My Life With Farrah, Ryan O'Neal shares the story of how he found his soul mate, their struggle to build a life and family while living in the public eye, and ultimately how he lost that love, not once but twice.

One never knows what to expect when presented with an actor's memoir. Let's be honest, successful actors do not necessarily make successful writers. This book however is fairly well written though in a very chatty "now-where-was-I?" manner. My only complaint would be his oft-repeated comments on his "upcoming reality series with [his] daughter Tatum" (seriously, was the number of times he had to mentioned it written into his book contract?!).

The brutally honest openness that O'Neal offers not only in his interactions with Farrah but that of his struggle with his children's lives and his failures in raising them, as well as his realistic look at his short-lived success and efforts to revive his career are refreshing and draws the reader deeper into his story. Now in his seventies, he seems to be taking stock of his life while sharing the story of his own Love Story.  Both heartfelt and entertaining, this is a great read.

3/5- Good. Read it, have a good time and move on. Or not.