Friday, September 28, 2012

Book Review: You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up: A Love Story by Annabelle Gurwitch and Jeff Kahn

I really wanted to read this book when it first came out - fantastic title and I loved Annabelle on "Dinner and a Movie," but it somehow didn't happen. But for months now, whenever I volunteered at the library, this book practically jumped off the shelf at me so I decided to give it a go.

Annabelle and Jeff have been married for 13 years now - practically a lifetime in Hollywood - and they go through their meeting, courtship, wedding, and marriage along with its requisite bumps along the way, to show a warts-and-all version of a marriage and relationship that somehow works despite the odds. It's purportedly a marriage advice book, but it's not that at all - it's a pretty straight-forward memoir - except in that it made me very appreciative of my BF and made me realize wow, we really don't fight hardly at all. Compared to the raucous chaos that frequently is the Gurwich-Kahn marriage, our relationship is a placid lake.

I always have thought Annabelle was hilarious. Apparently her on-screen humor masks off-screen anxiety, craziness, and high-maintenance, which isn't to say that Jeff is a saint. Sports-obsessed, sex-obsessed, and easily overwhelmed, he nevertheless makes a perfect companion for Annabelle. They say there's a lid for every pot, and Annabelle and Jeff demonstrate that brilliantly. They particularly are there for each other after their son is born with multiple birth defects, and when each of them have professional stumbles. I like how open they are about their sex life which isn't ideal for either of them, but is still quite healthy 13 years in, and in many ways I think it could be the key to their longevity - they've made an effort to not become just roommates.

You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up is very funny, very real, very honest, and very hopeful. If nothing else, it makes you think if these two crazy kids can stay together and still be in love and supporting each other after all these years, it's possible for anyone!

I checked this book out of the library.

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