“If my life wasn’t funny, it would just be true. And that is completely unacceptable.”– Carrie Fisher.
I’ve never seen Carrie Fisher’s one woman show, Wishful Drinking, in person, but I have read the book that’s based upon it and I’ve listened to the audio version of that book. Last winter when the HBO adaptation of the show, which was released on DVD last week, first premiered, I (appropriately) watched it while under the influence of very strong pain medication (don’t worry — I had a prescription) and really loved it. It was nice to see the stories I so enjoyed in the book told on stage with visuals and props. (I’ve since seen the special without the aid of pain meds and enjoyed it just as much.)
In Wishful Drinking, Fisher regales us with tales of growing up the child of Hollywood royalty, Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher; her most famous role, that of Princess Leia in Star Wars; her rocky marriage to musician Paul Simon; learning that her second husband, and the father of her daughter, was gay; her battle with drugs and alcohol; and her struggles with bipolar disorder. Her stories are smart and funny and prove that, even though she’s had a rollercoaster of a life, she is a strong woman who knows how to use humor to make it through the difficult times.
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The DVD of Wishful Drinking is pretty simple in its packaging and doesn’t come with a lot of extras — but those few extras it does contain are fantasic. There are several deleted scenes from the show which are just as funny as anything included in the special. But the extra that makes it worth your money to buy the DVD is the incredible interview with Fisher’s mother. It’s a very unpolished, practically unedited, interview but it is extremely insightful, funny and emotional and allows you to get to know the mother/daughter duo a little better. And Reynolds provides one my favorite quotes from anyone ever: “I have very poor taste in men. That’s why you don’t see any around my house.”
I’m not saying you should consume all three available iterations of Wishful Drinking (I am). But if you want to start somewhere, start here — it’s best to see the show in its full glory. (But seriously — read the book, too.)