Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Book Review: Jane Bussmann’s The Worst Date Ever
Once upon a time, Jane was a celebrity journalist and got to interview such intellectual beings as Ashton Kutcher and Nichole Ritchie, and write riveting stories about their fitness routines and how many dogs they owned, and the nature of God coming from their refined Hollywood perspective.
Jane's an atheist, so no wonder she was about to lose her mind.
Her memoir about those times is pretty funny and who'd have thought Uganda and diarrhea could be funny. And really what's a British comedy writer who writes about celebs doing in Uganda in the first place? Jane had a crush on a well known American activist and thought he'd fancy her if she did a story about Africa so she basically followed him to Uganda on his sort of invitation. Sounds shallow, right? But it's really not. It's quite endearing because she's not full of shit. She lays it out on the line in this book, and holds nothing back. I, for one, am curious about the latrine situation in Africa and I love that she goes there with gusto and lets us know that she went from peeing several times a day to only two so she could avoid doing it.
It's important to note that Jane went to Uganda and John had to cancel going there, so she was alone, and did her best to make the situation not as crappy as it really was. So what better thing to do than to investigate a decades long war involving child soldiers and sex slaves.
Jane is funny. She's a gal who I can root for, and I want her to be a genuine foreign correspondent. I don't much care if the man she fancies, a handsome John Prendergast (friend to George Clooney), fancies her back (he doesn't and is clueless to Jane's unspoken schoolgirl crush). What I care about is her transformation from a clueless celeb writer in Hollywood to a woman who is pissed off at a war in Uganda that should have ended 20 years prior. I feel like I am her. She is relatable. She's a fish out of water in her real life, and also in her short lived life as a foreign correspondent. I think most of us feel as though we're fish out of our own waters as well.
If you like funny Brits stuck in LA amongst hedonistic celebs and can only find solace and escape in the harsh heat and blood soaked plains of Uganda then this book is for you!
One more note: Her memoir doesn't end at Uganda. We learn about Jane's successful one woman show based on her experience, and the notice Hollywood took in making it into a movie. But for the Hollywood execs too many Africans in a movie set in Africa wasn't their thing. It's two years later, and no word on a movie. I hope some British production company makes it though because a comedy set in Uganda about a gal with a crush, and diarrhea, and corrupt politicians, and death and destruction is something I have never seen!