Rachel Dratch, funny gal of SNL fame, has not had the same career arc as her colleagues Tina Fey or Amy Poehler. No sit com for her, no rom-com movies. Worse, she was the original Jenna on 30 Rock… until she was replaced by Jane Krakowski. What do these women have that Rachel doesn’t? Good looks. A recent Slate.com article is even titled “Is Rachel Dratch too ugly for Hollywood?” Ooh. Harsh.
Her book, Girl Walks Into the Bar, makes it clear that she’s a little bitter about it. The theme – whatever happened to you? – runs throughout the book, opening with the typical call from her agent offering her the opportunity to read for a small movie part – a 300 lb. lesbian. Unattractive, old, overweight, and lesbian – these are the offers she is getting. I guess I’d be bitter, too.
The book is not substantial enough to be an autobiography, not even expansive enough for me to think of it as a memoir. It’s more like “musings on my life, so far.” Rachel comes off as a little whiny and maybe not even that much fun to be around, and if you’re looking for dirt to be dished, you’ll come up empty. On the other hand, she’s a pretty good story teller and life is looking up: the last few years have included a new relationship with an okay guy, a surprise pregnancy, the birth of her son Eli, and a focus on her family. The section about her father’s tendency to “hog” the baby was touching.
Comparison to other funny memoir-y types: I’d have to say that almost everybody pales in comparison to David Sedaris, that Tina Fey’s book was pretty solid, and that I laughed my head off reading Mindy Kaling’s book. Still, Girl Walks into a Bar is a quick read, there are some laughs, and if you’re one of those who wondered what Rachel Dratch has been up to lately, it’s worth the time.