Yes Please by Amy Poehler

Date Mon, May 1 2017

I’ve been watching Parks and Recreation for the second time (nearly finished, actually). I appreciate the show more now than I did my first run though, I think. Although, I did and still do see much of myself in the main character, Leslie Knope. Leslie is played by SNL veteran, feminist, and comedienne Amy Poehler, so I figured I’d give her memoir a go.

Yes Please is more of a conversation than a memoir. In it, Poehler tells us how she fell in love with comedy (in Chicago, NY and LA, respectively). She talks about her young life, life as a struggling artist and her more recent successes. Through it all, Amy seems real. In fact, after reading this book, I wouldn’t approach Amy on the streets because I know how odd celebrity is for her.

Amy’s just a person. Like so many of us, she’s experimented with drugs, went through awkward fashion phases, lived in crappy apartments, doubted herself and found comedy in all parts of life. In her book, Amy’s honest about her divorce from Will Arnett, but she never delves into the gory details. And perhaps that is where Yes Please fails as a book, even if Amy excels as an actress, writer, and comedienne.

There are few parts of Ms. Poehler’s life that are really exciting. Or perhaps she’s grounded enough that she makes her life seem mundane. The few areas where she could expand on the drama remain a blank space. I can respect that decision.

But the result is a bit bland. Sure, she’s funny and witty and relatable and honest, but Amy Poehler’s book is a little lackluster. It’s just too normal. Too ordinary.

It’s certainly not what I would expect from an extraordinary woman. Of course, some people choose to keep their private lives private and their demons tucked away where they can be managed out of the spotlight. Again, I get it. I’m just not sure why Poehler decided to write a memoir that doesn’t delve into juicy details despite that being part of the book’s description.

I enjoy what Poehler brings to the screen, both as actor and writer. I think I’d like having a coffee date with her. She seems like an enjoyable person. But Yes Please wasn’t something that I derived much enjoyment from due to its normalcy.

Although I don’t think this is a competition between Tina Fey’s Bossypants, I think Fey’s memoir was funnier and made more points, perhaps because Tina was a bit more raw than her peer was able to be in this book.

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