unqualified; a review


Unqualified, by Anna Faris

Book 44 of 2017

In 2017, I read Unqualified by Anna Faris. To be honest, I didn’t know much about Anna. I knew she recently separated from Chris Pratt, that she was in The House Bunny, Scary Movie, and a handful of other movies, that she stars on the TV show Mom, and that she has a well-received podcast. Unqualified, named after her Podcast with the same name, was a quick, easy read with sometimes surprising stories and quirky anecdotes. The book is part (unqualified) advice, and part memoir. At the beginning of the book, Anna admits she is “terrified” of publishing her stories, and it is easy to see why: she candidly covers subjects such as her plastic surgery, her first divorce (however her separation from Chris is mysteriously glossed over), jealousy issues and a handful of other usually-off-limits topics.

Once I get beyond my initial annoyance of a celebrity getting their book published (I go through this every time I read a celebrity memoir… especially if it is a memoir by a 30-something who has so much more life to live. Ultimately I recognize that I am just jealous that I am still in the pre-published stage for my own book, and celebrities seem to have a much easier time publishing books, and these books are often mediocre), I enjoyed Unqualified. Sometimes I felt like there were chapters that were uninteresting compared to others, but overall it was an entertaining read that gives you a glimpse into a down-to-earth celebrity’s life. Anna is a real woman, with real insecurities that everyone can relate too. Anna handles some situations in a very different way than I would, but that is the beauty of memoirs, isn’t it? We read about others lives and how each situation and action led them to another learning and experience. Anna has had a very interesting career with some enlightening experiences and growing pain-type stories she shares with her readers, sometimes embarrassing, sometimes serious. I also found it interesting that often her story read as a love letter to Chris Pratt, whom she has recently separated from.

I have included a few points from Unqualified below that stuck with me, in hopes of sharing some insight from the book. Let me know if you listen to Anna’s podcast, or if you have read her book, and let me know what you think!

  • ‘We romanticize early relationships because {when we are younger} emotions come flooding in a way they don’t when we are in our 30’s.’ I thought this was one of the most interesting points Anna made. It’s simple, yet true.
  • Anna has an interesting perspective on forging relationships with other women in Hollywood. She feels that it’s easier for men in Hollywood to form friendships with one another because traditionally there have been more male roles in movies that allow them to form friendships. (She also writes about being jealous of other women in Hollywood, and I have never heard such real-talk regarding this subject from a celebrity!)
  • Anna doesn’t buy that your partner has to be your best friend. She thinks that there is a friend for everything.
  • Anna talks about how she had both of her weddings in a remote location. She actually had an insightful take on how celebs have more days than most “normal” people where they celebrate themselves and she recognizes that. I had never thought about it in a way so simply described by a celebrity, and it was refreshing to hear that self-awareness.
  • Spoiler alert: Who knew Topher Grace would be the driving force in Anna’s life? (You’ll have to read the book to understand what I am talking about!)
  • There’s a chapter on how Anna feels it is rare when guys and gals can be friends. I found that this chapter painted majority of men as quite incapable of being friends with women, which I found interesting because I have always had a ton of guy friends. In University, I set the boundaries with some of them early on, but with others, it wasn’t necessary. I can’t imagine my heterosexual guy friends not being a part of my life, and I think saying that it’s rare that two heterosexual people of the opposite sex aren’t able to be friends for the long run is a cop-out. Maybe there are a ton of factors: maybe it has to do with being comfortable in your own skin, insecurities, or being friends with like-minded people… I don’t know the answer. But I know that it is possible.
  • Lastly, I really appreciated Anna’s chapters on being pregnant and being a mother. She was candid and genuine, and I related to her on many levels. (For example, she writes about everything from her scary labor experience, to her sick baby boy Jack, to her hair loss post-pregnancy). I empathized with her.

I always like to hear about women in different industries reaching their goals and always evolving. While I didn’t know much about Anna before reading her book, and won’t necessarily be a weekly Anna Faris is Unqualified podcast subscriber, I appreciated her candor and unapologetic tone, and thank her for a fun read.

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