Isabella Biedenharn
November 06, 2015 AT 08:19 PM EST

I Blame Dennis Hopper: And Other Stories from a Life Lived In and Out of the Movies

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Illeana Douglas
publisher
Flatiron Books
genre
Memoir

We gave it an A-

More than a memoir, this book is a love story—and not that of Douglas, big-eyed star of films like GoodFellas, Cape Fear, and Alive, and her onetime boyfriend Martin Scorsese, though she does capture the glee of their 10-year relationship beautifully. It’s Douglas’ head-over-heels madness for the movies that illuminates the text like a projector bulb through a filmstrip, from her parents’ decision to run a hippie commune after being bewitched by Dennis Hopper in Easy Rider, to Douglas’ own obsession with actors like Lee Marvin and Richard Dreyfuss, to her sometimes “delusional” confidence that she was born to be a star. Douglas recounts her life and work with a perfect mix of self-deprecation and glowing pride. Reading it feels like listening to the magnetic storyteller herself—and it’s enough to make you fall in love too. A–

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