Never Say Never—Finding a Life That Fits
By Ricki Lake. Foreword by John Waters.
This autobiography is the latest proof that, no matter what you’ve done in life—no matter how many movies you’ve made or how long your talk show lasted or how much weight you’ve lost—the only sure way to a book contract is appearing on one of those TV dancing shows.
That’s, in fact, Ricki Lake’s intro here: “If you had told me my entire life’s trajectory would hinge on my abilities as a dancer, I never would have believed you.”
Her book, wisely for that life but disturbingly for some readers, takes an “I never saw it coming” approach. That way, Lake can touch on her issues of divorce, prescription drug problems and especially her weight loss (following years as a role model for a certain type of young woman in the original film of Hairspray).
Lake seems to relate to her weight loss more as a vanity thing than a health thing. It’s also a heavily justified personal thing. Her whole book becomes a stultifyingly personal thing, a litany of self-revelations which are so inward and micromanaged that they don’t serve as any sort of inspiration to others.
It takes a breezy four-page introduction by John Waters to remind us that Ricki Lake is likeable and funny, and that most of the hard choices that have been thrown at her are the result of the career she chose to have.
“I secretly save all your tabloid headlines, even though I know they can make you crazy,” Waters confesses to Ricki. That’s the book I’d like to read.