Joe Eszterhas had it all, and more, and then blew it in a mysterious way. He found happiness with the woman he calls the sexiest on the planet (Naomi) and seems now to have retired from the business of screenwriting, a business which made him the highest paid screenwriter in the world--not once, but twice. He has left a legacy of interesting films, some good, some bad, but his memoir of writing them (and of his cathartic childhood, the son of Hungarian emigres) is just plain stupendous. It's one book that should have been two, or possibly three.
If you wrote, "Jagged Edge," "Flashdance," and or "Basic Instinct," to name only the hits, wouldn't you try to be more discreet about it? And the flops are a true laundry list of disaster. Only in Hollywood could such an auteur not only survive, but thrive. Very few screenwriters can boast of having sex with Sharon Stone, but Joe E. really rubs it in. For all that, his picture of Marty Ransohoff trying to destroy the life and career of Glenn Close is truly a memorable one. I guess Ransohoff won after all, because today one hears as little of Glenn Close as one does of Joe Eszterhas. If you like Hungarian sentiment, add a star. This is almost the Magyar version of Allen Ginsberg's "Kaddish."