Celebrity memoirs aren’t supposed to be moving. Most of the time a celebrity memoir just means that famous folk (or their ghost-writers) are provided with yet another novelty-sized cheque to churn out 250-pages worth of amusing words. They’re simply there to impart some minor or major controversy, a mythical origin story and the required pathos to prove the Wizard behind the curtain has been a regular human being all along.
And sure, Amy Poehler’s new book Yes Please follows this formula in its own playful and unique way, but her memoir leaves a distinct and undeniable mark.
In her opening preamble – ‘Writing is Hard: A Preface’ – Poehler acknowledges, in her self-deprecating yet candid fashion, that she’s ill-equipped to be writing a celebrity memoir. Yes, she knows that Yes Please will be catalogued and inevitably compared to releases from Sarah Silverman, Mindy Kaling and (obvs) Tina Fey. Yes, she knows it’s not going to be a best-selling literary revelation like Patti Smith’s Just Kids because, in Poehler’s words, Just Kids is so “beautiful and poetic and how dare [Smith].” But in Yes Please Poehler certainly brings her own. And as much as her “self-indulgent preface” attempts to lower expectations, the fact that she calls herself on this attempt – “I am a grown woman. I know my own tricks!” – sets Yes Please apart from the rest.
Yes Please is as self-effacing as it is self-affirmative; it’s a humorous and touching study of success and everyday-life strains. “I’m slugging away every day, just like you”, and you really get that. Poehler is a hardworking writer, producer and performer as well as a mother, daughter, colleague and friend. Yes Please gives us a collection of anecdotes that highlight her work ethic and in constantly thanking her nannies, parents, peers and BFFs, she also constantly checks her privilege.
Read more at Junkee.