Thursday, January 4, 2007

Review by Publishers Weekly

Review of Friends: A Love Story from Publishers Weekly:

Happily married actors Angela Bassett (Akeelah and the Bee) and Courtney B. Vance ("Law & Order: Criminal Intent") trade off chapters to tell their parallel autobiographies in this welcoming testament to love, faith and hard work. Bassett's story is the more compelling, moving from her poor, unstable childhood through grade school, drama school at Yale and eventual success with a clear, confident voice. But Vance's honest, charming tone carries his narrative well, relaying his struggles with insecurity and egomania as he finds early success. Both take readers behind the scenes of stage shows and major films-Boyz N the Hood, Six Degrees of Separation and What's Love Got to Do With It? among them-but focus just as much on romantic and familial relationships.

Long-time acquaintances, the pair quickly fall in love once they start dating in 1996, though readers might grow impatient during the 250 pages it takes to get there. Their stories come together to tackle marriage, the trials of a two-career household and the addition of twins by way of a surrogate mother. The only real misstep comes in the last chapter, "Lessons from Our Road Less Traveled," in which the subtle theme of religious fealty threaded throughout turns sanctimonious. Otherwise, this entertainment double-bio is a pleasure, and should hold special interest for fans of film and faith.

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