Opening with a long prologue about her botched nose job, Jennifer Grey’s introspective and brutally honest story is fascinating reading for any fan of ‘Dirty Dancing’ and the movies of the 1980’s.
She refers to her cosmetic surgery as “schnozzageddon”, having gone from being one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood to photographers literally not recognizing her. She is open, frank and often funny when recounting her early years in Hollywood, as well as her sometimes disastrous relationships. It was very eye-opening to learn that she was not paid well at all for ‘Dirty Dancing’ and often had to waitress between acting jobs. But by far the most defining aspect of her life during that time was, at least to her, her appearance.
“After ‘Dirty Dancing,’ I was America’s sweetheart, which you would think would be the key to unlocking all my hopes and dreams. But it didn’t go down that way. For one thing, there didn’t seem to be a surplus of parts for actresses who looked like me. My so-called ‘problem’ wasn’t really a problem for me, but since it seemed to be a problem for other people, and it didn’t appear to be going away anytime soon, by default it became my problem.”
There are lots of anecdotes about show business since Jennifer grew up the child of theater star Joel Grey. I was most fascinated by her relationship with her own body and looks, and the unyielding pressures Hollywood places on women (“…is there no statute of limitations on how long people think they are entitled to ownership of my face?”)
I have always loved Jennifer Grey and found her memoir to be incredibly forthright and sometimes heartbreaking. I loved when she describes her triumphant season on ‘Dancing With the Stars’ and found it to be very inspiring.
While not always brilliantly written, the book always felt genuine and hooked me from the very beginning. I am the same age as Jennifer so I loved all of the 1970’s references. A must-read for any movie buff.
About the Book:
A deeply candid and refreshingly spirited memoir of identity lost and found from the star of the iconic film Dirty Dancing.
In this beautiful, close-to-the bone account, Jennifer Grey takes readers on a vivid tour of the experiences that have shaped her, from her childhood as the daughter of Broadway and film legend Joel Grey, to the surprise hit with Patrick Swayze that made her America’s sweetheart, to her inspiring season eleven win on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.
Throughout this intimate narrative, Grey richly evokes places and times that were defining for a generation–from her preteen days in 1970s Malibu and wild child nights in New York’s club scene, to her roles in quintessential movies of the 1980s, including The Cotton Club, Red Dawn, and her breakout performance in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. With self-deprecating humor and frankness, she looks back on her unbridled, romantic adventures in Hollywood. And with enormous bravery, she shares the devastating fallout from a plastic surgery procedure that caused the sudden and stunning loss of her professional identity and career. Grey inspires with her hard-won battle back, reclaiming her sense of self from a culture and business that can impose a narrow and unforgiving definition of female worth. She finds, at last, her own true north and starts a family of her own, just in the nick of time.
Distinctive, moving, and powerful, told with generosity and pluck, Out of the Corner is a memoir about a never-ending personal evolution, a coming-of-age story for women of every age.