Saturday, March 17, 2012

Book Review: I Want It NOW!

My overall impression?

Don't bother.

I Want it Now: A Memoir of Life on the Set of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is (co)written by Julie Dawn Cole, the gal who played the little brat Varuca Salt in the original Willy Wanka movie.

There's nothing really wrong with this book. There's just not a whole lot right. It's a fairly linear tale of how Julie won the role, what it was like on the set, and how it affected her life.

The photos are fun to see, but the captions nearly word-for-word follow the text they accompany -- they don't add more insight. Her impression of the other child actors is a little interesting. The lifelong connections she made at that critical time in her life are understandable.

The trouble with the book is that it's written as though this was the highlight of Julie's life -- at 13 years old. And that is just sad.

Oh, sure, she goes on to tell a bit more about her career in film and movies and voice-overs. But it's told only as an adjunct to the next time she sees her old cast members and other post-Wanka celeb meet-ups. So, it falls flat as a story of a child actor that was able to make the transition into the entertainment industry as an adult. There's no depth of description to the characters presented. There's too much name-dropping. There's nothing to sink your imagination into. There are no real lessons learned. It's the old adage: SHOW us, don't TELL us.

So ... eh.

I recommend spending your time reading a memoir that leaves you wanting more, rather than this tale you're glad is finally over.

2 stars


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