Yep, that’s probably about right.
According to Goodreads 3 Stars means “I liked it” and . . . . well, I liked it – I just didn’t like it like it. Part of me wants to say that it was because this book was more of a filmography rather than a biography, but I’m pretty sure that’s not it because I wanted to read about Jack’s movie career and already knew about/could have really given two shits about hearing more regarding all the chicks he’s banged. The problem with this book (for me, at least) was that it got so mired down in the details and mechanics of what it took to make each Nicholson film that it lessened my enjoyment. Being inundated with budget overages, failed production timelines, hiring and firing of various producers, directors, actors, script writes and re-writes is not my idea of what I want to read when someone offers me a “Jack Nicholson” biography. All that Negative Nelly crap now said, Nicholson was still an interesting read.
“My work motto is ‘everything counts’ . . . My life motto is ‘more good times’.”
This book discusses EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. of Jack Nicholson’s movies. From the ones waaaaaay before my time, to the one that officially put him on Hollywood’s radar as the “next Brando” . . .
to his first Oscar win (and 5th nomination) . . .
to a change in attitude and acceptance of the fact that he was getting older and not thinner, which resulted in another Oscar win . . .
to playing one horny little devil . . .
to a BIG payday. . .
to one of the best movie quotes of all times . . .
Nicholson even tells us about all the movies Jack turned down (and holy crap did he turn some good roles down). This book is a great reminder that Jack has truly “been there and done that” when it comes to cinema. His dear friend Mike Nichols probably sums it up best:
“Jack is the hippest place in the universe, coolest place in America, the Independent Republic of Jack. The hardest thing to do is wear a gift well, and Jack wears it with a killer smile and a pair of shades.”
^^^^Okay, that’s the end of the “real review” (if you can call it that) – now I’m going to bore you with my personal history with Jack Nicholson.
If you follow my reviews you’re already aware that I know a whole lot about movies (and not a whole lot about much else). This is apparently a genetic defect that I inherited from one of my first best friends . . . my Uncle Rod. Let me tell you, Rod was a movie quoting mother*&^%r. We could hold entire conversations in movie speak and one of the most quotable of all Hollywood icons was none other than Jack Nicholson.
His two faves were One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and The Shining (both of which I highly recommend watching and reading if you have not done so yet).
Rod was a drinking man and LOVED to quote Jack Torrance from The Shining. We constantly heard “ I'm the kind of man who likes to know who's buyin' their drinks” and EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. OF. US called each other “Lloyd” after the bartender. (He used that nickname so much that my other uncle his DAMN DOG Lloyd after Rod passed away.)
Back in the 80s before there were eleventy billion television stations to watch, families actually spent time together. Any time we attempted to play cards or a game we would be inundated with quotes of ”PLAY THE GAME, HARDING!!!!” until someone finally broke and got pissed off. It never stopped being funny. Rod was our resident McMurphy . . . a little crazy, but the nicest guy you’d ever want to meet.
His love for pop-culture and gift of endless movie knowledge lives on through me, and I’m happy to say my children appear to have the gene as well. Thanks to you, Lloyd, for introducing me to Jack. I’ll see you on the other side where I hope to be greeted with “Wendy, I’m home!”
ARC received from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest (and apparently super-touchy-feely) review