I first met Rob Lowe back in 2008 at the very first Stand Up To Cancer benefit. I am sure he doesn’t remember the encounter, but I do. At the time I thought he was drunk, but after reading his recent memoir, Stories I Only Tell My Friends, and discovering that he is a recovering alcoholic, I now realize that he was just being crazy fun. But at that moment, when he turned to me and made a funny joke about something, all I could do was laugh along because my ears fell deaf and in my head I was saying to myself, “Damn you’re still handsome and if you only knew how I used to cut your picture out of Tiger Beat magazine and pin you up in my locker in middle school and high school I’d be super embarrassed right now.”
So you can imagine, having liked Rob Lowe for over 30 years, when I saw his bare chest on the cover of Vanity Fair and read the excerpt from his new memoir I was ecstatic for two reasons. One, the excerpt in Vanity Fair was about “The Outsiders,” an iconic movie from my childhood. Two, I would get to know the answers to some of the burning questions I had always had about him and maybe even find out a few more interesting tidbits. Unfortunately, what I got instead was a big disappointment.
You see, while I thought that the chapter about The Outsiders was the best chapter in the entire book, I wanted the rest of the book to be like that and follow suit. However, every subsequent chapter fell kind of short. The coincidence about 9/11 was intriguing but there could have been more depth. And although I wasn’t a fan of the West Wing while it was on, I would have appreciated a little deeper insight as to why he was ostracized by the producers. Even more so, I would have liked for him to bleed a little on the page about how it hurt his feelings, rather than take the high road or dismiss it as we often do with things with which we have come to terms.
Perhaps my biggest surprise was this past week I read that he was asked to write a second follow up book on love, sex, and marriage. The only thing that would make me buy that book is if he gives more than a couple of paragraphs of how he ruined his career when he was charged for statutory rape because he met two girls in a bar whom he thought were of age. His most recent memoir only told about his excuse of why he slept with them both. It didn’t go into any details about how it literally ruined his career.
In fact, that was the problem with the whole book. He certainly has led a privileged life in that he has had some incredible experiences and has interacted with the most famous of people from actors to politicians. Sure his mother suffered from bipolar disorder and his dad left them when he was a kid, but that’s nothing short of what a quarter of America has gone through – no revelations here. Also, in every memoir class I ever attended, they always say, “bleed on the page, bare your soul” and I felt that the majority of this book under-delivered and underwhelmed me in that regard.
So what did you think? Did you read it? Love it? Hate it? Thought it was a bit drab?