Book Reviews


By • Jul 16th, 2008 •

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Send Yourself Roses: Thoughts on My Life, Love, and Leading Roles by Kathleen Turner (Author), Gloria Feldt (Collaborator). Hardcover: 272 pages, Publisher: Springboard Press.

Kathleen Turner’s first book – in my opinion Turner is saving the sensational stuff for her final book – is the story of a movie star’s successful career after turning 40. Turner believed she was an actress, but her role in Body Heat (1981) changed all that. It was her first film and made her a sex siren. Her Matty was a sexually voracious female who used men. Matty’s character is summed up in her iconic statement to her victim Ned:

“You’re not too smart, are you? I like that in a man.”

Turner is surprisingly frank about her own shortcomings, the unfair criticisms she endured as she battled rheumatoid arthritis (RA), getting fat, and the truly unforgivable, getting old in Hollywood. Then there is her abuse of alcohol and the collapse of her twenty year marriage. I would have preferred more about what it was like being married to her – even if it was her side of it. Turner doesn’t confess to any dalliances, evil Hollywood moguls, or lousy contract negotiations. She never compromised. She never sold her soul for the good script.

I thought there would have been more treachery and bitterness.

So, the fact that much has been either forgotten or forgiven means her singling out co-stars Nicolas Cage (Peggy Sue Got Married) and Burt Reynolds (Switching Channels) can only indicate that regardless of what she says about them, they must have behaved far worse.

No matter what Turner had to apologize for regarding Nicolas Cage (he’s still a viable Hollywood commodity, while Reynolds’s career is behind him) – that ridiculous voice he used in Peggy Sue was horrific. Why did Francis Ford Coppola let him do it? Didn’t anyone watch the dailies?

Turner pulled herself out of alcoholism, accepted the limitations of her RA, and got slim. Because, American men who still “fantasize” about Matty did not want to see Turner as she was when she went to the premiere of Monster, Inc. (pictured)

Turner’s career makes you wonder what will Angelina Jolie do when she turns 50? There’s no early theater training Jolie can fall back on. Turner brags all through Send Yourself Roses about her successes in the theater. She is truly proud of her triumphs. Though not praised by the critics, Turner’s starring role as Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate was a sold-out success. (It was the script that was bad.) On the other hand, her engagement as Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf was a critical success. Turner got sensational reviews.

You come away from Send Yourself Roses knowing that Turner will continue to have a long and productive career in the theater where there are no close-ups and no one can tell your cup size from the back of the balcony. Send Yourself Roses: Thoughts on My Life, Love, and Leading Roles: Kathleen Turner, Gloria Feldt: Books

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