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Friday, November 20, 2015

Then Again: Diane Keaton

I think Diane Keaton is the cat's pajamas. She is so unabashedly herself, and I admire that in her. This is her memoir that I picked up, Then Again

She is best known as Annie Hall, but Diane Keaton, born Diane Hall, has layers upon layers that define who she is. She tells her story in part through her mother, to whom she was close and whose journals she uses to tell her own story. Through relationships with Woody Allen and Warren Beatty, to choosing to adopt two children of her own in her 50's, Diane has always chosen to be exactly who she is. She is a mother, a daughter, an actress, an artist, and always herself.

She is just one hell of a woman, you know? Diane Keaton claims to be nothing other than herself, and it makes her just a general badass. Her candid talk about her relationships with the two film greats above was really fantastic, and in the moment she finally understands that she doesn't want to date Beatty, that she has always wanted to be him, I realized how much like her I feel. It's not a gender thing that she's talking about -- rather, it's the confidence that comes across on screen, the ability to have career choices, and the strong personality that pushes head first into the world. (That's my interpretation, anyway.) She also makes it easy to understand her relationship with Allen and their long-term continuance of their deep and meaningful friendship. They had a connection that can't be forced or planned; rather, it came naturally and it seems to be that those who need to find each other often do.

I also appreciated Keaton's exploration of her family's connection to herself and her success. She clearly loves her mother more than anyone on this earth, other than her two children of course, and the way she talks about her mother is full of reverance and pride. I can only imagine how difficult it was to jet from home at such a young age and take on NYC by storm -- even in my 20's it was something else. With only letters going back and forth, Diane had to make her way, sink or swim. It's a story of success, but it's also a story of grit and a refusal to back up, and there are many lessons to be learned from Keaton's reflections. I would love an update now that it's been several years since she released this book -- after all, I need to know how she is faring in the teenage years with her kids!

For purchase below. 

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