Thursday, July 27, 2017

I Can't Make This Up: Life Lessons by Kevin Hart

4 Stars

“You can’t control the events that happen to you, but you can control your interpretation of them. So why not choose the story that serves your life best?”
Let me begin this by saying I’m not what you’d call a big Kevin Hart fan. I have a couple or so young(ish) children who already will have a proclivity to swear words due to the simple fact that I am their mother, so when Hart’s stand up specials started to hit the cable channels several years back I actively avoided him. Then we started having an experience which has jokingly been dubbed “The Annual Ice Cube Black History Month Film Festival.” I know what you internet trolls are thinking . . . .

Before you start asking me what size white sheet I wear on the weekends, please take note of the following release dates:

1. Ride Along – January 17, 2014
2. Ride Along 2 – January 15, 2016
3. Fist Fight – February 13, 2017

All of which were showing on the kids’ winter Teacher Institute Day, and two of which co-starred Kevin Hart. My old lady brain is failing me and I can’t recall what we ended up seeing in 2015, but I do remember having multiple arguments about how my massive psychic abilities were assuring me The Wedding Ringer (starring none other than Kevin Hart) was not going to be okay for young humans even though the name was very similar to The Wedding Singer. I also know at some point we had a Barbershop/Beauty Shop movie marathon in our family room because I had failed as a parent and the children had not yet watched those films and #3 was getting ready to come out.

Soooooo, I was familiar with Kevin Hart, but I found him to be more than a bit of a shrieking harpy and a handful of Tylenol were required before I could view his films. I also thought for a really long time the super short thing was a gimmick and that he actually wasn’t as petite as he actually is. I don’t know how to defend that . . . .

And since I’m nothing if not an over-sharer, I also always thought Hart looked like someone who would have chronic halitosis and since he is so screamy, his rank breath could probably be smelled for miles. Obviously there’s no reason for me to have this impression aside from the fact that I’m insane, but I is what I is.

Really, the only times I truly luuuuuuuuurv Kevin Hart is when Jimmy Fallon is making him do something that terrifies him. Such as . . . .

Or . . . .

I am woman enough to admit both of those snips made me wet my drawers a little.

That giant ramble above is to show that I had little expectations going in to this, but since I do tend to pick up comedian autobiographies there was absolutely no reason for me not to grab this one as soon as it was released. It’s also to say that if you are a Hart superfan and have this on your TBR strictly for the funny, there’s a good chance you’re going to be disappointed. Honestly, the only thing I can remember really giving me a chuckle is the following:

“If I ever get into wrestling, Young Pygmy Dynamite is gonna be my ring name. “

“So far in this book, I’ve only been in fights with women, children, and old white men. If Young Pygmy Dynamite actually was in a wrestling league, he’d definitely be the villain.”

In reality, I Can’t Make This Up is about exactly what Kevin Hart says it’s about . . .

“These are the stories behind the jokes, and a few lessons I’ve figured out about life, success, family, and relationships along the way.”

He tells of growing up poor to an overworked, single mother and an absentee, drug-addicted father and how he hustled his ass off until he finally made it to the top while simultaneously flailing around in a dysfunctional/abusive relationship for years. It’s very clear that Hart realizes any famous person is only guaranteed 15 minutes, and he’s capitalizing on his. If you want to laugh, this probably isn’t the book for you. However, if you want some sound advice for either yourself or to pass on to the youngsters in your life, Kevin Hart (surprisingly) supplies an abundance . . . .

“To commit successfully, you don’t have to always believe in yourself – because, let’s face it, we all have our doubts at times. But you do have to believe in something higher than yourself: your purpose. If you believe in your purpose, you can survive the most challenging times, because God or destiny or your will – or whatever you prefer to believe in – is on your side.”

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