Read So That Happened: My Unexpected Life in Hollywood by Jon Cryer Online


If it can happen in show business, it’s happened to Jon Cryer. Now he’s opening up for the first time and sharing his behind-the-scenes stories in a warmly endearing, sharply observed, and frankly funny look at life in Hollywood. In 1986, Jon Cryer won over America as Molly Ringwald’s loyal and lovable best friend, Duckie, in the cult classic Pretty in Pink in a role thatIf it can happen in show business, it’s happened to Jon Cryer. Now he’s opening up for the first time and sharing his behind-the-scenes stories in a warmly endearing, sharply observed, and frankly funny look at life in Hollywood. In 1986, Jon Cryer won over America as Molly Ringwald’s loyal and lovable best friend, Duckie, in the cult classic Pretty in Pink in a role that set the tone for his three-decade-long career in Hollywood. He went on to establish himself as one of the most talented comedic actors in the business, ultimately culminating in his current turn as Alan Harper on the massively popular sitcom Two and a Half Men. With the instincts of a natural storyteller, Cryer charts his extraordinary journey in show business, illuminating his many triumphs and some missteps along the way. Filled with exclusive behind-the-scenes anecdotes, Cryer offers his own endearing perspective on Hollywood, the business at large, and the art of acting. Cryer has worked with some of the biggest and most provocative names in the business, and here, for the first time, he details his experiences with Charlie Sheen, John Hughes, Robert Altman, Molly Ringwald, Demi Moore, Judd Nelson, and Christopher Reeve, among many others. He shares the intimate details of his friendships and relationships, pays tribute to his mentors, and explores the peculiar combination of heart, talent, and wisdom it takes to survive not just the bad times in a notoriously fickle industry but even the good times. In this revealing, humorous, and introspective memoir, Cryer offers readers a front-row seat as he reminisces about his life and experiences in showbiz over the past thirty years....

Title : So That Happened: My Unexpected Life in Hollywood
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781611763683
Format Type : Audio CD
Number of Pages : 8 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

So That Happened: My Unexpected Life in Hollywood Reviews

  • Carol
    2019-03-13 22:10

    I had trouble putting this book down; in fact I read a lot of it twice. I originally picked it up because I am wild about Jon's portrayal of Alan Harper on Two and a Half Men. Now, I am wild about Jon himself. His comedic style and timing has always amazed me. He certainly was able to translate that style to the written page. I am also impressed with his humbleness and honesty.If you like Alan Harper's persona or if you like Jon Cryer, you will like this book. Did you know that he dated Demi Moore? I didn't. His discomfort trying to talk about it to his new co-star was palpable....Jon's interaction with Sheen is commendable and never mean. He is a very nice man and anyone would be lucky to have him as a friend.

  • Cindy
    2019-03-16 22:16

    I didn't go into this book with any clear expectations of what I was hoping to read about Jon Cryer's life. I wasn't a huge Jon Cryer fan in the 80's, and now I know why--he wasn't in much. I never watched Pretty in Pink when it was first released. Oddly enough, I loved him in Hiding Out, which according to him was not a well received movie. I just thought it would be an interesting to see his take on what life was like in the 80's Brat Pack scene. And he wasn't in the Brat Pack group. Jon makes it clear in this book that he has disdain for the Brat Pack. I'm not sure if that's because he was included in that group or because he tried desperately to not be labeled that way. It was a bit uncomfortable. He is a self-proclaimed insecure, socially awkward person, but then he embraces it. I think that sets a tone for the entire book though. He gives us vignettes into aspects of his life and events that happened. but never really dives deep or explores greatly any aspect. For instance--his first marriage he barely gives a page to it. The only time it is mentioned is as he is as he is beginning to go through the divorce process. For me it was "whoa, when did he get married and have a kid" He explains a bit of that in the acknowledgements about wanting to keep his kids lives private, and I completely respect that. However, I believe the emotions of falling in love, getting married, having a kid, getting divorced would have given greater insight into his what was going on in his life professionally. I always wondered why I never saw more of Jon Cryer in the movies, and he explains here how he tried to distance him self from "being Duckie" and reflects a little bit on this, and whether it was good or bad career move. Mostly I felt that Jon held himself to a higher standard of acting that he thought he was being offered. As much as that might have been a detriment to his career, good to him for sticking to his beliefs. But this book makes him seem so pompous about it. I really am torn. Well he did have some flops, it was because he cared to extend him self out there. I do feel that some of his script choices might have been made on more of "wow, i'm totally geeked about this as a kid, i want to do it" versus what was better for him as an actor. Several reviews of this book talk about how they were excited for the Charlie Sheen bits, some saying that they wanted more-its the only reason they picked up the book, some feeling that too much time was devoted on it. For me, it was more about Charlie than Jon and I didn't like that tone. It didn't match the rest of the book where Jon offered more on what he thought then the actions of others. All in all, I'm left with the wonderment of why Jon Cryer chose to write this book. As I didn't feel like he gave us much to understand Jon Cryer as a person, and more of a story telling of this stuff that happened in his life.

  • Leslie
    2019-03-01 02:20

    Funny and entertaining with lots of behind-the-scenes stories of his 30 years in movies, theater, and television, this was an enjoyable read. Jon Cryer is best known for his Emmy-winning role as Alan Harper on Two and a Half Men and, to the 80s generation, as Duckie in Pretty in Pink. Those are the characters I was familiar with and what prompted me to read his memoir.We get to see a personal side to the actor and learn about his early years in theater, his near misses at stardom before Men (he was one of the actors considered for the part of Chandler on Friends), and about his years on Men, about his relationship with Charlie Sheen—the good, the bad, and the meltdown on social media, and the re-booting of the show with the hiring of Ashton Kutcher to name just a few. (There were other actors considered to replace Charlie Sheen, and did anyone know Jon Cryer dated Demi Moore? I didn’t. He describes discussing it with Ashton as “awkward!”. No more spoilers, read the book).Audio productionThe author narrates the book adding authenticity and realism to his stories. Who better to tell the tales than the actor himself! And it feels like he is talking directly to us, the listener. This was an easy book to listen to while multi-tasking around the house. Even those who don’t usually listen to audio should find it easy to follow along.

  • Mirkat
    2019-02-27 01:00

    So That Happened (to Duckie) I don't care how many years Jon Cryer portrayed Alan Harper on Two and a Half Men:  He'll always be Duckie (from Pretty in Pink) to me!  In the chapter where he discusses having worked with Charlie Sheen on the movie Hot Shots (years and years before 2.5 Men), he had an aside along the lines of "I know you've been waiting to hear me talk about Charlie Sheen.  Naw, man--I was all ears about Pretty in Pink!" I had to laugh about his being mistaken for Matthew Broderick, starting in 1983.  At the time Cryer was working as a theater usher, and audience members kept praising him for his work on-stage.  They thought he was Matthew Broderick, who was starring in Torch Song Trilogy.  Soon after, Cryer was Broderick's understudy on Broadway.  Here's a fun fact:  My brother has a nearly separated-at-birth resemblance to Jon Cryer.  At around the same time Cryer was being mistaken for Broderick, my brother started being told "you look just like Matthew Broderick!"  Then, once Pretty in Pink had come out, he started getting "You look like Jon Cryer!"  (My brother, by the way, is one year older than Jon Cryer is.  I'm two years younger than Cryer.  Yeah, he's "our generation.")  Anyway, I'm not quite done with this.  Several years ago, my brother was at a wedding where Broderick was also a guest (groom was one of Sarah Jessica Parker's brothers).  My brother couldn't stop himself from telling Broderick, "People are always telling me I look like you!"  I don't recall the details of Broderick's reaction, but I think it was politely dismissive.  I've now suggested to my brother that all he needs to do now is be a guest at a wedding where Cryer is a guest, so they can compare notes! So, I did enjoy this.  Cryer is a likeable narrator who doesn't take himself overly seriously.  I guess I was less curious about the "Charlie Sheen" stuff than his ideal reader might be, though I was mildly interested in knowing about the crazy behind the scenes.  He didn't tell me what I did want to know:  Why did the original ending of Pretty in Pink, where Andie and Duckie end up together at the prom, not appear as an extra on the "Everything's Duckie" 25th-anniversary edition of the DVD?  Did it get destroyed?  And why did James Spader not do interviews for it?  Sheesh, this was Pretty in Pink!!!

  • Elizabeth☮
    2019-03-19 23:07

    When I saw this at the library, my main draw was Jon Cryer played Duckie Dale. And who doesn't love that character? There are three chapters devoted to "Pretty in Pink." Three. That should be enough reason for you to pick it up if you love Hughes' films. But the rest of the book has some nice nuggets of Cryer's life also. He comes from a showbiz family. I didn't know that and I found it interesting to read about his life backstage at his mom's plays. This is a quick read and one that I am glad I picked up. Duckie.

  • Marla
    2019-03-21 20:18

    I've always liked Jon Cryer especially with the John Hughes movies. This was a really interesting book. It's nice to read about someone who tries to stay normal in a crazy industry. Lots of behind-the-scenes information. Jon read the audiobook himself. Drops the F-bomb a ton.

  • Robin
    2019-03-03 00:53

    I didn't know much about Jon until a few years ago when I watched a few episodes of 2.5 Men and despite the somewhat misogynist content, got a little hooked. And despite Alan being a little over the top, annoying-wise, he still managed to convey an endearing and sweet quality. The book was entertaining and Jon comes across as a fairly nice guy dedicated to being an actor in a cutthroat world. His early childhood, and show-biz training and experiences turned out to be more entertaining that I expected but the book fell apart a wee bit in the middle where he left out huge chunks of his life, mainly relationships and marriage, but it picked up when he got the TV series role of a lifetime. He did shell out a few tidbits unknown to most of us, mainly his mother was a successful Broadway show writer, he finally figured out what Steve Miller's "Pompatus of Love" meant (or at least where it originated), and he is really a pretty good singer (as is Stephen Colbert) which I discovered when I found the YouTube video of him and Stephen crooning in "Company."I gave this 4 stars for his sense of humor and breezy style of narration, and 3 stars for lack of content, but I guess that's pretty much the norm for many show-biz memoirs these days.Read--or better yet, listen to the audio format (he narrates), if you are a fan and watched 2.5 Men, or if you liked him in "Pretty in Pink" and are curious about the rest of his life. Don't bother if he's never crossed your radar.

  • Bogdan
    2019-03-02 00:09

    i loved his work in Two and a Half Men and i was curious about isn`t so dense like i was expecting, but a good read about his professional career, mostly.There are some chapters about the adventures with Charlie Sheen, but in reality i wanted to find out more about the production of the serial, than about this peculiar aspect.But, overall, an ok read, with it`s pluses and minuses.

  • Kim
    2019-02-28 22:58

    SO funny! I had this on my ipod, listening while cleaning house. I totally freaked my kids out a few times with my roaring laughter - they ran to find me to make sure I was "okay"! So Jon Cryer in No Small Affair and Pretty In Pink came out in my impressionable teen years. As I was pretty touched by Pretty In Pink back then, I guess the mention of Jon Cryer makes me think of those days soooo very long ago. Plus, I do LOVE him in "Men" so I had to read his book. Read the audiobook if you have the opportunity. Jon Cryer is really just so humble, charming and quietly funny! Really liked this!

  • Elyse
    2019-03-21 23:11

    I really enjoyed this audiobook. To be honest, I didn't know much about Jon Cryer before listening to this book. I knew he was in Pretty in Pink and Two and a Half Men. That's about it. So I was surprised that he's been in quite a bit. He seems like a pretty down to earth, normal guy. I didn't know he had such a stage career and acting background. He's lead a pretty interesting life and seems genuine. It was a good book.

  • Mediaman
    2019-03-11 04:12

    This is a rarity--a great memoir written by a TV star. It goes into great depth on the major roles that the author is known for, and pulls no punches in bluntly letting the reader know the struggles he encountered when dealing with others. I'm not personally a fan of the actor's performing style, but he answered most of my questions about him in this book. He's self-deprecating and admits to being nervous or insecure even when he's rich and famous. It's great insight into the fact that even those with great success can remain very insecure. Cryer is still that fumbling high school nerd even with his Emmy awards and loads of money.There are many great, detailed stories included. Few books by stars get into this kind of depth about the productions they are involved with. And if you're looking for his perspective on the Charlie Sheen meltdown it's here--in almost too much detail. At one point the book gets hijacked by Sheen and we lose track of what's going on in Cryer's life.It's really a 4 and 1/2 star book because there are large chunks of his life that Cryer doesn't discuss. His first wife? Two sentences. His kids? Barely alluded to (which he admits he did intentionally). His second wife? Well, he thinks she smart and pretty but we don't know why because he doesn't talk about her much. Did he ever have a drug problem? We don't know. He mentions others but it sounds like he never took an illegal drug. Did he sleep around? We don't know. He does tell us how he lost his virginity and that he & his future second wife dated six weeks before he even tried to kiss her but beyond that there's nothing sexual. Is he gay? He says no, and repeatedly in the book makes fun of the fact that people think he is (even calling himself effeminate) but he seems to go out of his way to over and over underline his desire for women.What's worst is that the book seems to end in 2011 but was published in 2015. He skips 3 years ahead and mentions that Charlie Sheen may or may not be back for the end of Two and a Half Men, and then that's it. Very weird. His book deadline was due before the end of the series, and he says nothing about his years with Kutcher beyond the first episode. What exactly was Cryer doing for 3 years??? We'll never know.What is here is great, and other famous people should emulate Cryer's open writing style. But greatness leaves the reader wanting more.

  • Marca
    2019-02-27 23:20

    Enjoyable listen on audio, read by Jon himself (thank you). Jon covers his life in show business, including how he got his start. Born in a trunk to show biz parents, it came naturally to him. He spends a lot of time on “Pretty in Pink” and the formation of Duckie, which was fun. Jon talks about other roles, the process of TV shows and film making, and the back-end of the business. He comes off as a nice guy who has a great appreciation and respect for his business, but also possesses a common sense pragmatism. He talks about some roles he lost (Chandler on Friends, for example) but gave great props to the actors who got the roles and acknowledged that he was not right for the parts over them. He could not avoid the Charlie Sheen sh*t-storm, but did not really trash Charlie. Jon had compassion for Charlie’s demons and worried about him, but Jon did not appreciate what Charlie’s meltdown did to all the people around him. Jon also mentioned the adoration and offers that followed Charlie with the same puzzlement that many of us feel when watching the news. The more some public figures act like idiots, the more the “fans” love them. In showbiz, they say there is no bad publicity. Jon does not spend much time on his adult family life. He mentions marriages and talks briefly about his kids, but generally leaves them in the background and concentrates on his life on camera. I suspect he is a celebrity who would be nice in person. Below is a link to a fun clip where Jon takes a temp job after "Two and a Half Men" shuts down when Charlie Sheen is fired. Jon is a good sport.

  • Emmett Spain
    2019-03-17 19:53

    Focusing on his life in show business, Jon Cryer's memoir is a breezy, easy to enjoy collection of tales from his 30 years in Hollywood. It's charming, a touch rambling, and gives the sense that Cryer is trying to gently entertain his audience rather than dish thirty years worth of secrets. Revelations are few, anecdotes plentiful, and--for those wanting to know--the last sections of the book are dedicated to Two and a Half Men and the infamous Charlie Sheen meltdown.Some of the Sheen stories are amusing glimpses behind the scenes, others factual retellings of well publicised events. Cryer paints himself as very much the bystander in the entire debacle, with patches of minor intervention here and there, and is careful about labeling Sheen a friend, often referring to him as a colleague he enjoyed working with. The word friendship does slip in there though, and so Cryer betrays himself ever-so-slightly ... the question might be asked as to why Cryer didn't step up to do more to help his co-star and friend. Interestingly, the section on Two and a Half Men dedicates almost no time to young Angus T. Jones, who has been controversial in his own manner, disowning the show and all involved. Jones is mentioned as a fine performer earlier in the tome, and ... that's about it. Cryer is clearly not trying to create controversy with this book, which is admirable, though it makes for incomplete storytelling.All in all, So That Happened is an interesting glimpse into the success of a fairly unlikely guy, and is an easy read for those looking to get a glimpse behind Hollywood's velvet curtain, and gain some additional insight into one of Hollywood's most famous meltdowns.

  • Sheila DeChantal
    2019-03-09 04:13

    As I listen to a fair amount of audio books narrated by actors, I know I enjoy hearing the stories behind the shows, the acting, the co-stars, funny happenings…. What I don’t like is whining about missed parts, what is believed to be unfair casting, and well whining in general.This audio has a mix of both.I of course wanted to hear about John’s role in Pretty in Pink and of course his many years of being on Two and a Half Men and working with the unpredictable, eventually fired Charlie Sheen. For the record, the later does not get mentioned until disc 6. The first 3 to 4 cd’s of this audio book are interesting however Jon has a lot of strong opinions of fellow actors as well as about others taking credit for something that was his doing. To me… that felt a bit whiny. At the same time I imagined an editor saying “Jon, be vulnerable, be angry… niceties do not get the book sales!” So, that said… perhaps Jon was coerced.I did enjoy the later half of the audio where the real meat of the book seemed to be. When Jon talked about Two and a Half Men and what was happening there it seemed a bit more real.Looking at the rating of this one on-line, I am in the minority. For the most part people have found this memoir to be hilarious and well done. This can very well be a case of “it is not John, it is me”.For my full review:

  • Yvonne
    2019-03-01 21:04

    Jon Cryer, the star of the sitcom “Two and A Half Men” gets his chance at telling us his life story. He starts at the beginning – growing up in a celebrity home. I had no idea he had a background with parents in the business. Or at least I don’t think I knew that.He takes us through his career as a child in commercials to a young adult in Broadway to the 1980 movies he has done to his television career. He even gets his chance to respond to Charlie Sheen’s attacks against him during the fiasco that went on a few years back. He does it in a very gentlemanly way. He’s not vicious or accusatory, he simply states the facts.I listened to the audio version which he narrates himself. He does a great job telling us about his life…he’s a great storyteller. His humor is spread throughout this story. I can easily visualize him sitting in a room talking to a group of people about the behind-the- scenes happenings on all his projects. I would have liked to hear more. It’s very easy listening and a great audio for my commute.

  • LisaCarlson
    2019-03-15 01:16

    Emmy Award winning Actor, Screenwriter Jon Cryer will always be best remembered for his role of Duckiein the John Hughes movie Pretty in Pink. He, James Spader and Annie Potts were always my favorites. Cryer confirms their professional, inviting behavior and yet other actors who didn't have the same demeanor. As far as the CBS show Two and a Half Men goes I watched it once or twice. Holland Taylor was always great but never understood why someone of her caliber was on it. While I love Martin Sheen I am not a fan of his son Charlie. It does feel as though Cryer could have waited to write this book because some of it feels redundant; it is complete with color photos and acknowledgments. The most important quality about Cryer during the Sheen outbursts was he never complained and never explained. It's a characteristic we can all aspire to.

  • Margie Van Evera
    2019-03-06 21:02

    I'll start off by saying I'm a big Jon Cryer fan. My husband and I watched every Two and A Half Men episode, including reruns, because the humor, timing, and connection between the cast was great. I've always thought Mr. Cryer was the bigger star of the show on most episodes.This was a very quick read for me. The book did not "gossip" about other stars (except for some in the last chapters about Charlie Sheen, but it's the stuff you would have already heard through TV news, etc.). I learned how the author got his start in theater, went to theater camp, did some work in London, and learned his craft. His parents were in the business as well but didn't seem to feel that he leaned on them too much to get into the good graces of the right people. It was a good read.

  • James McNally
    2019-03-13 02:57

    I've never watched a single episode of 2.5 Men or whatever it's called, but I loved Jon Cryer's Duckie in Pretty in Pink (and have always shared his unrequited love for Molly Ringwald), and have always identified with his nerdy persona. I also empathized with his situation when Charlie Sheen went nuts and almost brought the show down with him. This is breezily written and filled with corny, trying-too-hard jokes but it fits my image of Cryer and actually endears him to me even more. The way he describes telling his now-wife his feelings (at the age of 40, no less) resonated with this awkward self-conscious romantic bungler. Glad to see that nerds can sometimes win.

  • Emma
    2019-03-01 02:53

    Written and read by Jon Cryer, "So That Happened" was an entertaining foray into the life of a grown man who will, more often than not, be best known as Duckie. And Cryer is okay with that. This titular character and what he learned from playing his is a recurring theme throughout the autobiography. While the bulk of the second half of the book is devoted to "Two and A Half Men" and the antics of Charlie Sheen, I found this book to be devoid of gossip and slander and, instead, genuine, honest, and a true reflection of Cryer as a person.

  • W. Whalin
    2019-03-01 23:15

    I knew little about Jon Cryer before I heard this entire memoir from cover to cover. I knew Cryer from watching the TV show Two & A Half Men but I had no idea he has a 30 year career as an actor of theater and movies. The stories were engaging and worth hearing. A number of them were funny as you would expect but filled with the inside story of what it is like to be an actor--going to auditions and wondering if you get part and a behind the scene look at Cryer's life. I enjoyed it and recommend the experience.

  • Dawn
    2019-03-22 20:14

    So many things got in the way, it did take a long time to finish this book, but no reflection on the material. Funny, informative, entertaining, but not self-serving. I was surprised at how grounded and matter-of-fact Cryer appears to be. One of the better biographies I've read.

  • Tara
    2019-03-03 01:16

    Is it fair to review a book you didn't finish? Well, I couldn't finish it! It was bland and showed no potential of being remotely interesting!

  • Lisa
    2019-03-09 04:02

    Always loved this guy since Pretty In Pink. Love him even more after listening to his memoir!

  • Angela
    2019-02-28 20:18

    Very fun with lots of behind the scenes Hollywood stories, but I would have loved more about Pretty in Pink!

  • Karen Ketterman
    2019-02-23 01:03

    Very funny. Jon will always be Duckie to me.

  • John
    2019-03-07 03:01

    I've never been a Jon Cryer fan. In fact, I couldn't recall any of his work apart from TWO AND A HALF MEN until this book reminded me he was in HOT SHOTS and SUPERMAN IV--movies I saw multiple times as a kid. And while I thoroughly enjoyed the first several seasons of TWO AND A HALF MEN, I mostly watched it for Charlie Sheen. And once Kutcher replaced Sheen, I thought it quickly devolved into the worst show on television.So, for me, SO THAT HAPPENED had no right to be this entertaining. I enjoyed everything about it, including the behind-the-scenes look into stuff I don't generally find interesting, like musical theater and teen romances like PRETTY IN PINK. Unlike a lot of celebrity memoirs, SO THAT HAPPENED never feels ghostwritten or culled together from a series of interviews. Jon Cryer comes across as similar to the Alan Harper character he plays on TV, but a lot more likable and without all the neuroses. Funnier, too. It makes me wonder if he missed his calling by becoming an actor rather than a writer. (Although he did co-write the scripts for indie flicks WENT TO CONEY ISLAND... and THE POMPATUS OF LOVE.)Towards the end of the book, everything (predictably) becomes more about Charlie Sheen than Cryer himself. Which is fine, because Sheen's personal and professional meltdown is fascinating as hell. I only wish Cryer had held onto the book for a few more years and released it after TWO AND A HALF MEN had ended for good. Somehow, by cutting off the narrative just when Ashton Kutcher came onboard, a lot of things feel unresolved. I'm especially curious to hear Cryer's thoughts on the series finale, which many considered to be in very poor taste. However, I totally get why Cryer released the book when he did, with TWO AND A HALF MEN at the top of the ratings and the whole Charlie Sheen debacle still fresh in everyone's minds.

  • Joan
    2019-03-17 00:06

    Ok, first of all, I am and will always be in love with Ducky, which is why I just had to read this book.Now that I've read it, still in love with Ducky, but also really in like with the guy behind Ducky. This book is so funny, and I had a wonderful time reading it. There were a couple times, where I was in a place where I should have been quiet, when I laughed out loud. I think that says a lot as many books are funny, but very few of them make me laugh out loud.Also, as a performer, I really like reading about other successful performer's failures. It's not a schadenfreude thing, it just helps remind me that most people aren't successful overnight and they have to go through a lot to get where they are. It makes it easier to manage my stumbling blocks when I know I'm not the only one.

  • Diana Marie
    2019-03-13 03:59

    Especially for an 80s gal such as myself - very enjoyable. We hear of course about Pretty in Pink, Duckie and just enough (not too much) Charlie Sheen but more importantly about how he honed his craft and some insights into the theatre vs. movie industries. He has some interesting points about story telling and life. His mom also sounds impressive. Oh, and make sure to listen to the AUDIO CD which he reads in the way that only JC can!

  • Frederick
    2019-02-25 22:55

    Jon Cryer writes with clarity, which is a rarity when it comes to showbiz memoirs. While this book is entertaining, it also gives the reader a pretty good idea of how Broadway, TV and the film industry function. (Auditioning for two TV shows at once? You must specify which offer you'll reject before either offer is made.) This book caused me to see a movie I'd been putting off seeing since the year it came out: PRETTY IN PINK. I was 27 in 1987, already a fossil compared to the target audience. But Cryer is only a few years younger than I, and as I read his book, I realized his cultural markers are recognizable to me. For example, I was amazed his first film, O.C. & STIGGS, was directed by Robert Altman, whose stylized chaos had loomed large in my imagination since I saw M*A*S*H at the age of ten in 1970. The fact that Cryer wanted to make this movie because he loved the NATIONAL LAMPOON comic strip it was based on also made me realize he is more of my time than not. THE LAMPOON was read by any seventies adolescent who had comedic ambitions.So: If you remember anything of America from around the time of Nixon's resignation to, say, 1987, you'll see how well Jon Cryer's book captures that time. While the focus is almost strictly that of the entertainment business in New York and California, it is obvious the author lived through that time. Of course, the recent era is chronicled. The ups, ups and downs of TWO AND A HALF MEN are described in comic and, indeed, frightening detail. (Paparazzi stalked Jon Cryer's family just so they could somehow determine something about the imploding life of his co-star.) I had a feeling the book would be funny, because he is funny on the show, but I've hardly ever watched the show. What his book made me realize is that a dedicated actor can shine in almost anything. When a project (such as PRETTY IN PINK) is great to begin with, his inclusion can take it to the moon. (And while the book doesn't say so, I bet it was Jon Cryer, a native New Yorker's idea to sing John Lennon's "Love" in a scene where he is alone in his crush's bedroom. It's not a famous song today and it wasn't then, but it tells you something about the character he played that that's a song he would sing to himself.)Having had a fly-on-the-wall glimpse of the Off-Broadway world myself, I found Jon Cryer's insights on the nature of the business spot-on. He is very good on the subject of weird contractual realities.

  • LAPL Reads
    2019-03-07 21:53

    Jon Cryer’s So That Happened: A Memoir is the rare celebrity tell-all that is as insightful as it is entertaining. Cryer, star of Two and a Half Men, comes across as a levelheaded person in a crazy business. The author doesn’t spare us any salacious details, particularly about his time working with Charlie Sheen, but he balances his life story with moments of compassion and empathy. In essence, Cryer manages to merge a literary sensibility with a jocular tone. Cryer grew up in a bohemian apartment house in New York, surrounded by artists of all stripes. He and his older sister were raised mostly by their mother, Gretchen Cryer, an actress and playwright. Cryer spent his high school summers at the famed musical theater camp in New York State, Stagedoor Manor. Though he considered himself a science geek, and attended the Bronx High School of Science, he opted to pursue a show business career after high school. Cryer’s big break came about due to his resemblance to Matthew Broderick, and he was Broderick’s understudy in Broadway productions of Torch Song Trilogy and Brighton Beach Memoirs. After finding success in a touring production of Torch Song Trilogy, a film career soon followed. Cryer’s breakout role was 1986’s Pretty in Pink, a John Hughes teenage romance. Cryer portrayed “Duckie” Dale, who he describes as an “effeminate, heterosexual dork.” Cryer’s film career fizzled the following year, and he tried his hand at television. Cryer’s first three shows were cancelled, and he took time off to make small independent films and do theater in New York and London.Cryer was eventually cast as Alan Harper in Two and a Half Men, which led to his career comeback. He won two Emmys, divorced, remarried and adopted a child during the show’s run. He lived through the nightmare of having his every move followed by paparazzi during Sheen’s colossal meltdown. He rediscovered his musical theater roots during a star-studded New York production of Stephen Sondheim’s Company. Ultimately, Two and a Half Men persevered with Alan Harper as the lead character before the show went off the air earlier this year. Jon Cryer’s memoir is the story of an entertainment industry survivor.Reviewed by David B., Librarian, InfoNow