23 July 2020

We're Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union



I'm very much a Gabrielle Union fan but I don't know that I'd have been interested in this without a big Twitter recommendation from my girl Sophia Bush. These celebrity memoirs are so easy to get through that even if you don't know a lot about her (like me), you don't have much to lose in trying it out.

Union's book isn't much different format-wise than any other celebrity memoir. The chapters are independent of each other and focus on individual topics. There is some heavier content in Union's book than in some of the other ones that I've personally read, but I will admit my choices from this genre have largely been restricted to white female comics / Bachelor personalities, so I'm sure it's  all relative. Union talks about her experience with issues like race and rape, but she also has some lighthearted chapters on heartbreak and Bring It On for balance.

My favourite celebrity stories are always going to be about their experiences on set / working with various casts of movies and shows I love so much. Union happens to be in two movies I absolutely love: Bring It On, and 10 Things I Hate About You and she has some great anecdotes from working on those projects that were some of my favourite parts of this book.

Union in Bring It On - the running monologue in my head likes to repeat "oooo you've been touched by an ANGEL gurl" in the voice of the chick on the right


She talks about how invested Bring It On's director (Peyton Reed) was in making sure the black character dialogue was authentic, and how they spent hours everyday rewriting it together to make it more believable. She also has the most complimentary things to say about working with Heath Ledger which brought tears to my eyes, but mostly I wanted to cry at this:

When we [the cast of 10 Things I Hate About You] wrapped, we knew for sure we would all see each other again, just like summer camp reunions. But that never happened. We were never all in the same place again."

Don't you just feel this way about everything in your life? Your high school friends, the people you worked with at a hotel one summer, your cohort of new hires? Meg and I get upset looking at the Harry Potter cast hugging on their last day of filming for this very reason. I hate this about life, you get so close to a group and then just move on.

Union in 10 Things I Hate About You


She also talks about some bad experiences she's had on projects as well (Friends) which I found very interesting.

Union naturally talks a lot about race- specifically growing up in a white suburb in California, and now raising black kids in the current political climate. I like how she balanced the way race has impacted her life with the way her and her husband's fame has allowed them to experience a more privileged version of it. I've been thinking a lot about the following interaction she had with her husband, a famous NBA player:

'What did you tell the kids to say when they're stopped by police?' I asked him.
'Well, I told them what to say in case-'
'WHAT did you tell them?'
'I told them to say their full names and our address.'
'Wrong answer,' I say. 'I'm Dwayne Wade's kid. That's what they say.'"

My favourite chapter is always the most relatable and in Union's case it's where she talks about her first husband Chris who was so awful but who she just couldn't ditch because she was scared and stupid. I lol'ed as she talked about how they went to couples therapy but lied to the therapist because they didn't want her to judge them- classic. She also quoted Carrie Fisher who said the most amazing thing about why she split with Paul Simon:

'Things were getting worse faster than we could lower our standards.'"

Let that one smack you in the face.

I know Meg is a big Dwayne Wade fan but there is very little mention of him in here if that's what you're after. There's also very little about parenting or infertility which are two issues I was sort of hoping to read her perspective on knowing the journey her and Wade have been through.

look at this insanely hot couple


This was a fun read for what it was but it's nothing mindblowing. If you are a Union fan I'd say you'd enjoy reading this and learning more about her and I know it would definitely have more of an impact on someone who could relate to all of her chapters on race, etc. 

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