You'll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again Paperback – Apr 1 2002
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"A hell of a story." San Francisco Chronicle
"A blistering look at la la land." USA Today
Top Customer Reviews
The book is interesting. Good insights, interesting subject matter. But I got the impression reading it, she wrote every paragraph on an index card, threw them in the air, stapled them together, then gave them to her publisher as a 'book.'
There's such a thing as flow. Continuity. Most paragraphs in a book generally have something to do with the paragraph preceding and following them. The author seems like the kind of person Ritalin was invented for. I got the feeling she drank 3 pots of coffee before she started typing.
A manic-depressive without the depression. If Bette Midler or Liza Minelli took a lot of crystal meth then wrote a tell all, it would come across like this. A series of asides and name dropping pasted together. But the story is interesting.
I got the book because it was mentioned in "How to lose friends and Alienate people" by Toby Young, which was a very funny book about the magazine publishing world. Also name dropping, short asides, but working as a writer as opposed to producer/promoter, he knows about flow, even if he's also another manic type.
That said, I recommend this book. The author is very intelligent and funny, the subject matter interesting.
It's just that Hollywood types annoy me as superficial speed freaks with no attention span unless they're discussing money.
This book is one of the greatest acts of literary self-immolation ever published. It's hard not to feel sorry for Phillips at first, suffering as she does from a toxic mother, a workaholic father, insomnia and a Talmudic intellect.
But you get over that feeling in a hurry, as Phillips bullies, maneuvers, sleeps and stomps her way to the top, winning an Oscar for The Sting at the unheard-of age of 29. Her motto: overcompensate; overachieve. If you can't be best, be first.
As she notes, no young person is ever ready for massive success, and her career crashed just as quickly. After being more or less fired from Close Encounters by Steven Speilberg, her life became a broken record of drug abuse, failed relationships, financial problems and closed doors gleefully slammed by those she used and abused on the way up. Through it all she makes it all seem like a big game, but the human wreckage strewn across the landscape will give the reader pause.
It's hard to know whether Phillips' broadsides at anyone and everyone with whom she had contact are simply through spite, or whether we'd all be better off if Hollywood simply disappeared in the next big quake. Phillips claims that she's just being honest, but snide remarks about a crewmember's physical deformity make her seem only nasty.
Hate it as she did, Phillips revelled in the politics, the backstabbing, the lies and shallowness, the feeling of power that came with the title of Producer. She learned fast ("Always negotiate the height and WIDTH of your [on-screen] credit," she advises, after her on-screen credit for The Sting is "willow thin.Read more ›
I expected standard Hollywood dirt-dishing. I was unprepared for the vengeful & venomous whining from a woman who'd once set a new standard for women in 'the industry', yet never saw she'd helped create the viper's nest she later exposed in over 600 paqes of difficult to read complaining.
Yet I read it all. I thought the bitter and mean-spirited texture of the book, with it's raw self-revelation/loathing theme, would have some gentler conclusion, message, or lesson learned by the author. It didn't. As tough as Julia Phillips was, she never beat her addiction...to Hollywood.
Julia lost sight of the fact that though she was singular in a particular era of film making, she was not unique in the battle with the temptations of self-medication, or the quest for happiness we all make. This "but I'm so special as a woman" sexist vein is the glue that held this book together, and would have been acceptable to the reader if we could feel at the end that Julia ever really "got it". I found the book drew me into the nastiness, though it seemed obvious the fine details of every deal or friendship were written for insiders. Name- dropping as the weapon of choice.
We all love the movies; have our favorite actors and directors; we like to believe there really is some impossible magic, and that true artistry will win out and be noticed in a flood of wannabes.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I had this book before and lent it out and wanted to re-read it. The writing style is a little jumpy, like she jumps from her childhood to present day (at the time) but she does... Read morePublished on Aug. 20 2013 by Patricia Wilson
The book had a major tear inside cover, so I wouldn't describe it as they did. Amazon said to contact them before leaving negative feedback, so I did. Read morePublished on Dec 7 2011 by J. Stinson
Not all HOllywood high rollers are born cool and ultra-confident. This book documents that fact and proves it, as it walks us through the rise and fall of one of Hollywood's... Read morePublished on June 26 2004 by M. Alther
Good alternate titles for this book would be "Look at Me, I'm Self Absorbed" or "Drugs Make You Boring. Read morePublished on May 19 2004
Do you want to know what really goes on behind the scenes? Behind the doors of oversized mansions that house beautiful antiques, Van Gogh masterpieces, and people who want you to... Read morePublished on March 31 2004
The book was okay for what it was. Not an original idea, personally I would read the sample pages closely to see if her writing style is what you would like read. Read morePublished on June 4 2003 by No Coast
I think I would have enjoyed this book more if I'd read it when it was first published. The references are naturally out of date and I wasn't terribly familiar with a lot of the... Read morePublished on April 8 2002
YOU'LL NEVER EAT LUNCH IN THIS TOWN AGAIN (1991) was/is a touching autobiography written by the recently departed Julia Miller Phillips, born 1944, died New Year's Day, 2002. Read morePublished on Jan. 15 2002 by David Roger Allen
I felt Julia had a huge ego -- like many other Hollywood characters I have met. This pertains especially to the "Suits," who really are quite uncultured. Read morePublished on Jan. 4 2002
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