Thursday, August 23rd, 2012
I just listened to this interview with Molly Ringwald on NPR, and it got me thinking.
I loved the actress when I was a preteen. Who didn’t? She was a few years older than me, so I worshipped her. (I also thought Tootie from The Facts of Life and Daisy from The Dukes of Hazzard were excellent role models, so what did I know?) But Molly is the one I wanted to be. She had perfectly curled hair, big pouty lips and a really cool personality–even when she played the nobody girl in Sixteen Candles.
I love watching her evolve. Now, like me, she’s mother to three kids including a set of twins. It’s fun to see her play a mommy on ABC Family’s The Secret Life of the American Teenager. She still looks the same–pretty as ever whether she wears pink or not. Years ago–way before I had twins–I saw her at The Writers Room, an office space where NYC freelancers can get some peace and quiet and internet service. She must’ve been working on her memoir, Getting the Pretty Back. (See the cover at left–it’s much cuter than the one for her new book.)
Maybe I’ll read her new summer fiction, too. She just wrote When It Happens to You: A Novel in Stories. The book is about several people in sticky situations who are somehow connected to each other in Los Angeles. The novel is told in different viewpoints–each chapter is a different story–and all the stories get intertwined. Kind of like the structure of The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing. Ringwald writes about a stay-at-home mom with fertility and marriage troubles, an elderly woman who loses her husband and is estranged from her daughter, and a single mom trying to do the best she can with her young son who likes to dress like a girl.
Publisher’s Weekly gives Ringwald’s book mixed blessings. They stated, “This debut work of fiction, which reads well, never gets traction in your mind. It’s probably best seen as an example of one of celebrity’s mixed blessings: your name gets you in the door but your apprenticeship takes place in public.” Wait, that’s kind of an ouch. But the review also conveys that the stories are interesting enough and the relationships are good and messy.
So what do you think? Would you read Ringwald’s novel? Or do you prefer to admire her on the screen?