Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Coreyography - Feldman

Many women, and presumably some men, my age remember clearly "The Two Coreys". In many cases, Corey Feldman and Corey Haim were our first crushes. Their zanny, 1980's comedic "teen-flicks" are classics in our memories ("I don't need your BMW, I've got a Mercedes!"). But sadly, these once adorable, vibrant and talented kids are now most remembered for their struggles and failures. In his autobiography, Coreyography, Corey Feldman shares his story, though perhaps not so fondly.

As a child actor, Corey Feldman enjoyed acting. His older sister had had some success in the field and he was happy to take part, until his unstable parents took advantage of the situation. Feldman found himself supporting his entire family and forced into working and taking jobs that were not beneficial to his career. He was abused physically and mentally by his parents to ensure the money-train continued, until at age fifteen he took his parents to court for legal and financial emancipation.

With his new-found freedom, but no additional maturity (and little support from anyone healthy), Feldman sank quickly into the excesses of the 80's, drugs. His career continued to flourish as he was paired with Corey Haim and the Two Corey's duo (and a long lasting friendship) was born. The two would go on to perform in several blockbuster movies making millions, and remained friends until the end.

But their story is sadder and far darker. Feldman speaks of what he considers to be the biggest issue that Hollywood faces, pedophilia. He admits to having been abused himself, and states that Corey Haim, who's demons allegedly drove him to drugs and eventually killed him at the young age of thirty-eight, admitted to being abused multiple times before and after their meeting. Feldman, in fact, takes responsibility for introducing Haim to some of his abusers and professes guilt.

Corey Feldman was never a favorite of mine. I much preferred Corey Haim. Now, Hollywood is Hollywood and what makes the best show (ie most money) is always going to be what is projected. But that being said, Feldman always came off as self-serving and a bit of a money-hungry jerk. I wasn't sure I would enjoy this read, as I fully anticipated disliking him even more.

I was very pleasantly surprised. Not only was this memoir extremely well written and presented, but I truly feel that Corey Feldman has survived due only to his own inner strength. Reading this book, I feel that I truly got to know the a new Corey Feldman, perhaps new even to himself.  Rather than the Corey who was always trying to impress, to make a splash to sell movies, Corey Feldman seems to have grown up to be quite the man. He now has a son and speaks of his failed marriage in a mature and kind manner. He continues to work toward making Hollywood a better, safer place for child stars working with organizations to support laws and guidelines to ensure their safety. He does not, however, toot this horn loudly which made me like him all the more.

I do realize that this book will not be of equal interest to everyone, that being the only reason I am rating it:

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