Before my truly epic and unbelievably mucus-productive cold hit this January, I was able to blow through Burt Reynolds's autobiography But Enough About Me.
Why, you say? Well, why not? I'm not really any kind of Burt Reynolds fan but a. I did enjoy "Smokey and the Bandit" when I first saw it, and b. as a former film major, I've always felt a bit bad about never having watched the movie "Deliverance," which is, by all accounts, a film classic.*
And you know what? I really enjoyed it. As are most celebrity autobiographies, it was a quick read, and although you learned a bit about some of Reynolds's many friendships and relationships in the business (who knew he dated Dinah Shore, when she was in her fifties and twenty years his senior?), Reynolds and his co-writer Jon Winokur really kept everything pretty light. That said, there were a couple of anecdotes I enjoyed, like the one where he advocated for the casting of Sally Field as his love interest:
"When I told Universal that I wanted Sally Field for 'Smokey and the Bandit,' they said, 'Why would you want the goddamn Flying Nun?'
'Because she has talent,' I said.
'She isn't ready to star in a feature film, and she isn't sexy.'
'You don't understand,' I said. 'Talent is sexy.'" (p. 188.)
And although he married her, he didn't have good things to say about Loni Anderson:
"I didn't see Loni again until a few years later, at an awards gala, after Sally and I had broken up. She asked me to dance and whispered in y ear, 'I want to have your baby.'
'Right here?' I said.
'You know what I mean,' she said.
'Yeah, I know what you mean and I'm flattered, but don't you think we should find out if we like each other first?'
The truth is, I never did like her. We'd be together and she'd be gorgeous, though I always thought she wore too much makeup. It would be nice and all that, but I'd be thinking, 'This is not the person for me. What the hell am I doing with her?'" (p. 203.)
Something about that was just so funny. Like he was just powerless when big intimidating Loni Anderson came around and forced him to marry her. But anyway: I'm not sorry I read it. Particularly because after I did I got a real urge to re-watch "Smokey and the Bandit," which I did, and, since he was still up, LilCR watched it with us, a circumstance about which Mr. CR was conflicted. I said, Dear, if he remembers watching "Smokey and the Bandit" when he starts to drive, and tries to outrun cops, well, then you can yell at me. And LilCR REALLY enjoyed it. The next morning, he said, in his piping LilCR voice: "Watch. Car. Movie. Again?"**
*The one thing that I know about "Deliverance," as does everyone else, is that it includes the depiction of a man being raped by another man. Yeah, I just can't get myself to watch that, even if it's a small part of the picture. I can just barely read about such things, but watching them on film is one of my deal breakers.
**LilCR talks like this, like he's trying each new word for. the. first. time? Ending with the up inflection. It's like living with a diminutive and male Valley Girl.