Unqualified by Anna Faris, with Chris Pratt and Rachel Bertsche (Humorous Memoir/Advice Book, 2017).
This lighthearted, yet sincere book is a blend of good-natured humor, personal memoir and relationship-focused advice from actress Anna Faris. The title (and the book itself) is a spinoff from one of her current projects, a call-in podcast she co-hosts entitled Anna Faris is Unqualified. I must confess that I’ve never tuned in to this program and, in fact, I was unaware of its existence until I read this book. In any case, Ms. Faris is totally upfront (and amusingly self-depreciating) in admitting she has no formal training that might qualify her as a guide to relationship problems.
What she has available are her own experiences, her native intelligence, impressive self-awareness, a great deal of often self-mocking wit, an abiding interest in other people and a nearly compulsive desire to help/advise others. You don’t have to be a big admirer of her film career or her successful current TV sitcom to enjoy her breezy literary voice.
Yes, I’m sure she benefits from the experienced Ms. Bertsche’s presence (which she readily acknowledges) and her husband Chris Pratt’s foreword adds a bit of extra humor (as well as true fondness). But despite her repeated claim to feeling ‘unqualified’ to author a book, it’s a fun and revealing look inside her life and mind, and personal history.
It might not be an earth-shaking volume, it’s a good read–and yes, her thoughts on relationship issues ring true to me. I wouldn’t be surprised if the book proves a positive service to some readers. Others will just be entertained, and that’s a fine thing in itself.
After recently reading and reviewing a string of long, serious and yes, politically IMPORTANT biographies/memoirs of people whose actions (for better or worse) shaped big chunks of history, this marked a nice, relatively brief (306 pages) and entertaining change of pace for me.
And all her self-mocking humor notwithstanding, I don’t think her college degree (in English) was in any sense wasted.