Now that Posey has found herself in 'Perimenopausal Time,' she has deigned to bless us with her infinite wisdom and enough personal anecdotes to satiate even her most rabid fans. Glory be: she has a narrative voice! And it’s just as funny and insouciant as you might hope!
Posey, the Ur-’90s indie darling, made her name in some of the decade’s best movies—Party Girl, Dazed and Confused, Waiting for Guffman, Kicking and Screaming, The House of Yes, Best in Show—with roles that were variations on a theme: the gum-cracking oddball, sometimes manic, sometimes brittle, sometimes smart aleck, sometimes airheaded. Her book—written in a voice just as wry and memorably demented as any of those characters—suggests she may have been playing some version of herself all along.
In You’re On An Airplane, the Christopher Guest regular and Dazed And Confused scene-stealer recounts her life, both personal and professional, in a freewheeling style that can feel dizzying. She starts with one story, walks away from it or dives into an aside, before picking up the narrative thread and putting a button on the whole thing. It’s enjoyable in the way getting drunk can be: You don’t feel entirely tethered, but you’re having a good time ... You’re On An Airplane exemplifies Posey’s wry, devil-may-care sensibility ... Flitting among all the anecdotes and wordplay and wit, Posey frequently lands on moments of poignancy ... She’s a curious, enthusiastic iconoclast who’s willing to throw herself headlong into her life and craft—making those connections wherever she can.
The book really flies when Posey uses her airplane rambles to gear-shift into brief, anecdotal stories about, say, hopping out of a moving car as a child without quite knowing why. These erratic non-sequiturs buck the new comedy memoir’s convention of packaging memories into a particular essay’s overarching theme. That’s when the book successfully de-mythologizes both Posey and Hollywood itself, revealing that we can leave the conventions of mythology behind. Perhaps, we should.
Anyone who is a fan of Posey’s work will find this structured look at her world off-screen fascinating, partially because she writes with such a conversational voice. We came to this book to meet Posey the actor and celebrity, after all ... The book is a refreshing departure from the unnatural, authorial voice some celebrities assume when they get their first tell-all book deal, but it leaves the reader with a self-conscious burden. When it comes to Posey’s confessions about her frustrations with celebrity and show business, and especially when it comes to her glowing accounts of alleged abusers, are these the truths as they are to her — or is this just the facade, what she wants us, a stranger on an airplane, to see? When creating the myth of yourself, are you obliged to include the truths you don’t want to acknowledge? You’re on an Airplane transfers these questions from the author to the reader and in its narrative distance reminds that even a work of 'non-fiction' like a memoir is ultimately another kind of front.
It’s a loose, clever format to tell your life story. But, as Posey learned, it can be an intimate and revealing one, too ... Airplane is an eclectic mix of monologues, recipes, revelations, and collages. It’s all in the effort of sharing herself — her quirks, passions, and creative spirit.
Parker Posey’s memoir, You’re on an Airplane (Blue Rider) is exactly what you’d expect it to be: in Posey’s own words, 'self-mythologizing' ... Despite the abundance of stories and images (portraits of Posey striking a series of different poses line the pages), the book is powerful also in its understatedness ... the reader can read into that what he or she will, and it’s on to the next Posey-esque absurdity.
She describes You’re on an Airplane as a series of monologues, and it is subtitled 'a self-mythologizing memoir' ... 'Parker’s writing style is so just amazingly HER,' Jill Schwartzman, Ms. Posey’s editor at Dutton, wrote in an email. 'As Parker herself said, all the stories are true!' ... In her book, the actress finds her own ways to provoke.
The indie film actress frames her unsurprisingly quirky memoir as a chat with the reader — who happens to be her seatmate on a long flight. (Her 'emotional support dog,' Gracie, is on her lap.) Posey has plenty to share about her films (Party Girl, Dazed and Confused, Best in Show) and her passions (pottery, Mysore yoga).
The 'Queen of Indie Film' writes hilariously and thoughtfully about her life and the lives of Gracie, her dog, and other intriguing misfits she’s known ... he narrative flow is occasionally whiplash-inducing as Posey marches through her life, but she is an irrepressible and appealingly eccentric guide throughout. Resilient and fiercely observant, Posey is an unflinchingly honest and entertaining interpreter of her many stories.
Actress Posey fashions her clever and playful memoir as a conversation with the reader, who is seated next to her on a plane ... Posey’s narrative is lighthearted and amusing, and it reveals her strong and independent spirit and serious devotion to acting. Indie film fans will especially enjoy this energetic romp through Posey’s vibrant film career.