I was totally right. This doesn't feel like a memoir so much as spending a couple of days listening to Kilmer reminisce about his family, his career, and his love life. Happily, he never goes into any kind of racy details about that last item. He never says mean or snide things about any of the women he dated, or his ex-wife Joanne Whalley. He's remarkably gentlemanly, in fact. You get the idea that he is dazzled by women, but has no real idea what they want or need out of life or a man. Which was kind of fascinating, in a somewhat sad way.
I was really happy that most of the book was a sort of behind-the-scenes tour of many of his famous movies, because that's what I wanted the most from it. And he definitely delivered. I think the only movie of his that I love that he didn't cover at all here is Spartan (2004). So that was immensely satisfying. Do I wish he would have delved more deeply into a few of them? Yes. But what is here is very fun. And I got to learn some of his thoughts on Hamlet and what it was like to play the title character onstage, which you know thrilled me.
Val Kilmer was raised a Christian Scientist, and he talks a LOT about his particular religious beliefs in this book. They're a little peculiar, to me, but I definitely respect his commitment to serving his fellow humans with love and compassion and generosity. He also explains his battle with throat cancer and his struggle to discover a new way of acting now that his golden voice is gone.
Particularly Good Bits:
When you dream dreams when you're young, do them before you have a reason not to. When you are young, that is when all the dreams come true (p. 94).
If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: PG-16 for some veiled references to sex, discussions of drug and alcohol use, and the very sad story of his youngest brother's drowning.
This was my 32nd book read off my TBR shelves for #TheUnreadShelfProject2021.