Okay, I’m bad. I have perfumes waiting for review and I haven’t had time to get to them. Mostly because of supervising a lot of work at my place (painters and plumbers and carpenters, oh my!) My spare few moments were spent reading the delicious new book “The Mommie Dearest Diary” by Rutanya Alda. She played the role of Carol Ann in the movie, a notorious fiasco version of Christina Crawford’s vituperative memoir of growing up as the adopted daughter of Hollywood legend Joan Crawford. She paints Joan as an obsessive clean-freak, a drunk and the least loving parent you could ever want to have short of Electra. Now, I don’t know what’s true (some of Joan’s friends and her twins take issue with the book, some say it was accurate) but the movie came out as almost hilariously mis-firing. Christina herself lambasted it as being “a Joan Crawford Movie/”
But Ms. Alda’s book is a lot more. I tells of us her childhood and escape from Latvia under Soviet occupation and subsequent emigration to America, her rise as an accomplished actress and her rather rock marriage to a talented actor who was also a drug addict. THe writing is done with such warmth and humor that you really get an idea of her personality, and the feeling that you would really enjoy having this girl on the next barstool.
Of course the dish about shooting “Mommie” is delicious. She is very even-handed with the Faye stories, careful to mention her kindnesses as well as her excesses. All in all, it’s a portrait of the ultimate in dysfunctional Hollywood ensembles, which is most likely the norm rather than the exception. Go out and get this right now.
Disclaimer: I purchased my copy at Amazon the day it came available. Image stolen from Amazon.