“I'm sure many people will disagree with my assessment of Penny Marshall's memoir "My Mother Was Nuts"--it all depends on what you're looking for in a memoir. If you're looking for non-stop name-dropping of show-biz friends, telling endless stories about doing drugs, bragging about her mega-rich friends (Ron Perelman, etc.) giving her the royal treatment, ragging on her mother for being such a heartless bitch and so on, then you'll love this book.
Me? Not so much. I have loved Penny's work from TV shows Laverne & Shirley and Happy Days to one of my favorite movies (not just of hers, but of all) A League of Their Own. I always pictured Penny as a woman who had something to say so, when I had the opportunity to review her memoir, I jumped at it. Unfortunately, most of what she has to say in this book isn't that interesting (at least to me).
Sure, there are a some interesting stories about the casting and making of her movies and TV shows...that was enjoyable, esp. regarding League. But that is like icing on a cake someone forgot to bake. There just isn't enough "there" there.
If you're looking for details of her personal life, there are some of those. She discusses her marriage to Rob Reiner, her relationship with Art Garfunkel, her long-term friendship with Carrie Fisher, and the Cindy Williams story. She also dishes (what I felt was unnecessary) dirt on some people in her life and the business. She doesn't pull punches, and that I can appreciate.
Penny could have used a ghost-writer...someone talented at writing who could have pulled a bunch of random factoids and journal entries into a cohesive, interesting book. I admire her for wanting to deliver the book in her own voice...but I just don't think she did a great job of it.
Finally, while the back cover bills this as a "funny" memoir, I don't know that I laughed once throughout the entire book. It really came off more like a massive brag- and bitch-fest to me than any kind of attempt at humor. No doubt about it, Penny Marshall is a funny woman...but it's not much in evidence here.”