Mem­oir by Drew Bar­ry­more

Sun.Star Cebu Weekend - - Contents - HOLDER/As­so­ci­ated Press) (MIKE HOUSE-

Bar­ry­more’s not-a-mem­oir ‘ Wild­flower’ is fun read

COUNT­LESS celebri­ties have penned au­to­bi­ogra­phies. Not a lot are like Drew Bar­ry­more’s.

And that’s a good thing.

“Wild­flower” bounces around chrono­log­i­cally and the­mat­i­cally and gen­er­ally re­fuses to bend to the rules of con­ven­tional mem­oir writ­ing.

“If it feels per­sonal for you, then I am so happy, be­cause it was per­sonal for me,” Bar­ry­more writes in the not-a-mem­oir’s pref­ace. “I didn’t write it in any par­tic­u­lar for­mat.”

The lack of a tra­di­tional struc­ture works, though, be­cause the end re­sult for the reader is an il­lu­mi­nat­ing and en­ter­tain­ing look back at the fa­mously free-spir­ited ac­tress’ 40 years on Earth.

Free of — par­don the pun — flow­ery writ­ing, the book is as down-to-earth as the author her­self ap­pears. It also is self-dep­re­cat­ing, with ref­er­ences to Bar­ry­more’s “klutzi­ness” and her “val­ley girl” ca­dence.

Bar­ry­more makes sure to touch on mo­ments that are well-known to the masses, in­clud­ing her: role in the clas­sic film “E.T. the Ex­tra-Ter­res­trial,” ex­hi­bi­tion­ist ap­pear­ance on David Let­ter­man’s late-night talk show and three big-screen col­lab­o­ra­tions with co­me­dian Adam San­dler.

The owner of one of the most fa­mous sur­names in Hol­ly­wood, Bar­ry­more — the grand­daugh­ter of famed stage and film ac­tor John Bar­ry­more and the grand­niece of renowned thes­pi­ans Li­onel and Ethel Bar­ry­more — has been a work­ing ac­tor for much of her life.

A life that has had more than a few ups and downs. “I just grew up too fast,” she writes.

Writ­ten a quar­ter-cen­tury af­ter the re­lease of Bar­ry­more’s “Lit­tle Girl Lost,” which chron­i­cled her tur­bu­lent early years, “Wild­flower” is the work of a mother of two young girls who has a much dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive on the world.

“Wild­flower” is at its most en­gross­ing when the author delves into her re­la­tion­ships with those who have im­pacted her life, in­clud­ing her barely there par­ents and sup­port­ive in-laws and friends, in­clud­ing “E.T.” di­rec­tor Steven Spiel­berg, who Bar­ry­more writes “took me in, a girl who needed a fa­ther, and it meant the world to me.”

From wild-child head­line-gen­er­a­tor to en­trepreneur, film­maker and phi­lan­thropist, Bar­ry­more’s roller-coaster ex­is­tence is slow­ing down th­ese days.

Just long enough, any­way, for her to pen an en­gag­ing ex­am­i­na­tion of her past. The lit­tle girl who once was lost clearly has been found.

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