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You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up: A Love Story [Paperback]

Annabelle Gurwitch , Jeff Kahn
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Feb. 8 2011
In this hilarious and ultimately moving memoir, comedians and real-life married couple Annabelle Gurwitch and Jeff Kahn prove that in marriage, all you need is love—and a healthy dose of complaining, codependence, and pinot noir.
 
After thirteen years of being married, Annabelle and Jeff have found “We’re just not that into us.” Instead of giving up, they’ve held their relationship together by ignoring conventional wisdom and fostering a lack of intimacy, by using parenting as a competitive sport, and by dropping out of couples therapy. The he-said/she-said chronicle of their intense but loving marriage includes an unsentimental account of the medical odyssey that their family embarked upon after their infant son was diagnosed with VACTERL, a very rare series of birth defects. Annabelle and Jeff’s unforgivingly raw, uproariously funny story is sure to strike both laughter and terror in the hearts of all couples (not to mention every single man or woman who is contemplating the connubial state).
 
Serving up equal parts sincerity and cynicism, You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up is a laugh-out-loud must-read for everyone who has come to realize that being “in love” can only get you so far.
 
On Cohabitation
He says: “Within days of Annabelle’s arrival, I became very aware that she demanded solitude and had the housekeeping habits of a feral animal.”

She says:
“The guy had some sort of nudity radar. When I would take my clothes off for even a second, Jeff would be in front of me cheering as if he’d scored box seats at Fenway Park.”
 
On Sex
He says: “I want to have sex every day, but Annabelle only wants to do it once a week. So we compromise: we have sex once a week.”

She says:
“Jeff says talking about money before you have sex is a turnoff, but it’s only a turnoff if you’re talking about not having money. Talking about money before you have sex when you have money is actually a turn-on.”
 
On Pregnancy
He says: “For God’s sake, all I wanted to do was have sex without a condom for a little while; now we were moments from bringing a new life into the world!”

She says:
“My ass was expanding so fast it was like a Starbucks franchise. On every corner of my ass there was a new branch of ass opening up.”


From the Hardcover edition.

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Review

"You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up: A Love Story shows how hectic, hard and hilarious married life can be. Spanning friendship, courtship, marriage and parenthood, Annabelle Gurwitch and Jeff Kahn’s "he said/she said" memoir at times reads like a mix of couples therapy and "Real World" confessionals for grown-ups. Only funnier and heavier.”—The Washington Post

“This book is a must-read for couples and singles alike. Finally, a married couple that doesn't hide behind such tedious traits as personal loyalty, good taste, and an overall sense of decorum.  You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up tells people what marriage is really like!”—Liz Tucillo, co-author of  He’s Just Not That Into You and author of How to Be Single
 
“So funny because it is so accurate. Kahn and Gurwitch illuminate the insanity of marriage.  They make you want to embrace your spouse for the same reason you want to strangle them.”—Ben Stiller
 
“Although after eleven and a half years of pure, uninterrupted marital bliss I don’t relate at all to the subject matter, I still found Jeff and Annabelle’s book to be hilarious.”—Judd Apatow
 
“As someone who has never married or ever understood why anyone would,would, I feel I can say with authority that this is the finest, funniest, most insightful book I’ve ever read about a subject I’m completely unqualified to comment about.”—Bill Maher
 
“The far right believes that marriage should only be one man plus one woman. But they are oh so wrong. Marriage should only be between two funny people, and Jeff and Annabelle are the shining examples of this new marriage movement.”—Carol Leifer
 
“Damn, marriage isn’t supposed to be this much fun! If anyone is going to save marriage, it won’t be James Dobson—it’ll be Annabelle Gurwitch and Jeff Kahn.”—Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed
 
“Oh, now I get it. This whole sham of a marriage was not just for tax purposes, it was also to write and sell this immediately engaging book! I remember when Jeff first told me about Annabelle and the hazy, humid thermal cloud she wrapped his head in. I thought he was nuts. Turns out I was right (see pages 1–250). After reading this book, I feel sorry for both of them now. And that’s quite an accomplishment.”—David Cross, author of I Drink for a Reason
 
“He said tomato, she said shut up, and I took a Vicodin to ease the pain from laughing so hard.”
—Sandra Tsing Loh, author of Mother on Fire and A Year in Van Nuys

"We're just not that into us."--Annabelle Gurwitch and Jeff Kahn


From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

ANNABELLE GURWITCH is an actress and writer, best known for her years cohosting Dinner and a Movie on TBS and her Fired! book and documentary film. Her acting credits include Seinfeld, Boston Legal, and The Shaggy Dog. She’s been a humor columnist for TheNationMagazine.com and a regular commentator on NPR.
 
JEFF KAHN won an Emmy Award for his writing on The Ben Stiller Show. As an actor, he has appeared in The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Tropic Thunder, as well as in the HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm and Entourage.


From the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Some humour April 9 2011
Format:Hardcover
Some humour between the pathos. I wonder why Jewish writers always feel
the must announce their religion. Jumps about a bit and somewhat boring.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  37 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laugher, Truth, Brilliance Nov. 4 2010
By Alexsandra Sukhoy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Jeff Kahn and Annabelle Gurwitch got it right. Marriage is funny, it's tough, it's work, it's intimate, it's distant and a thousand other contradicting adjectives. While so many couples obsesses over the perfect wedding, how many really think about what it means to grow up and grow old with someone you are legally and emotionally bound to, good and bad, day after day? In today's post-feminist universe, is marriage even a sustainable union? Jeff and Annabelle open the Pandora's box, let us in and generously provide the reality check to what this institution holds in store, especially when two people genuinely love each other and want to be a part of the world. You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up should be THE mandatory reading to anyone and everyone who is even mildly considering one day saying, "I do."
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So funny Feb. 23 2010
By SpicyGuy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Wow. I had expected this book to be funny: I'm a big fan of THE BEN STILLER SHOW and have read Gurwitch in the past (FIRED!) and seen her Showtime special. But, what I didn't expect was how true, poignant, moving this book turned out to be. Yes, it's a "warts and all," laugh-out-loud comedy book about marriage: the most dysfunctional marriage you've ever seen. But, it's also the story of two parents who love their son and (in their own bizarre way) each other very much.

If this isn't turned into a movie or tv show, Hollywood has no idea what they're doing. I hear that they may turn it into a two-person show. Based on the video they made to promote the book, I'd go see that play in a heatbeat.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and Touching Memoir March 7 2010
By nashvillegirl - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is one of the funniest, yet touching, books on marriage that I have ever read and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to read an honest book about marriage.

The book is set up so each chapter is loosely organized by theme, such as pets, dating, childbirth, in-laws, etc. Either Annabelle or Jeff presents their view first (in short essay format), and then the other one follows. I really enjoyed the "getting both sides to the story" aspect of the book. It is also mostly in chronological order, so it is pretty easy to tell where they are in their relationship when they are discussing each theme. They deal with most things that any married couple would deal with, yet you also receive some interesting insights into the Hollywood/LA/creative profession culture that they both reside in.

Many of the essays are incredibly funny, and there are some that are also very touching when discussing a serious subject, such as the birth defects of their son. The book doesn't pretend that marriage is easy, but at the same time, you can tell that they really care about each other.

Additionally, I found this to be a fast-moving, easy read and perfect for those days when you only have time to read a few pages, because of the divided-eassay format.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious, Deep and full of insight Feb. 25 2010
By Gentle Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is one of the most laser-precise books on marriage, sex, kids, LIFE that I have ever read. I laughed my ass off, then would suddenly get caught off-guard and find tears welling in my eyes. The laugh lines are abundant and so are the moving moments, especially with their son's diagnosis with VACTERL. iIt's a true honor that Annabelle Gurwitch and Jeff Kahn would open their hearts up to us readers. A wonderful wonderful book. Highly recommend.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Gift May 25 2010
By H. Lichtenfeld - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This was the best Valentine's Day gift I have ever gotten. If you and your partner have a sense of humor and like to laugh together I highly recommend this as a gift. And if I ever have the pleasure of getting together with Annabelle and Jeff, now that I know what they do with their oven mitts, I will certainly suggest we go out to eat.
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