Alright, alright, alright.
The actor who famously coined the phrase is none other than Matthew McConaughey. The Texan has written his first book and according to him, this is not a traditional memoir, it’s more of an approach book. Also called a playbook based on adventures in his life. And he wants you if possible to subjectively adopt it.
McConaughey for a start is not the conventional Hollywood actor. Heck, he is not even the typical American white boy who helmed from a privilege family to begin with. His parents were married three times and divorced twice to each other. He grew up in a family of disciplinarians and liked he said, you better follow the rules until you are man enough to break them. Well, they may not always liked each other but they always loved each other. Talk about tough love.
He starts to find his frequency in high school. Always the guy who danced at the party and the guy who chased the girls. He even went for a school exchange program that lasted for a year in Australia. He wanted to study law and become a defense attorney but ended up going to film school which leads him to a small role in Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused. The rest as they say is history.
In McConaughey’s words, this is a story about greenlights. Greenlights in life means go, advance, carry on. They can be in forms of approvals, praise, gifts, health, success and many more. Sounds logical enough. In other words, McConaughey is teaching us on how to catch the greenlights in our respective life. It’s about skill, endurance and discipline.
Although McConaughey proclaimed Greenlights is not a traditional memoir in the beginning, he devotes much of the first two chapters on his early life focusing portion of it on the relationship with his siblings and parents. For those looking for his insights on the numerous movies he has done over the years, he is apparently less generous about it. He did talked about his big break, A Time to Kill, Reign of Fire where he went bald and of course, Dallas Buyers Club which earned him his first Oscar. He was always ready to give people a ninety minute breezy romantic getaway with romantic comedies as his consistent box office hits. The paychecks were enough to rent the houses on the benches but he realised he is losing his creative spirit.
The Arrow doesn’t seek the target, the target draws the arrow. After numerous (bizarre) wet dreams which take him on trip to Africa for example and settling down with a woman he loves. He was ready to define success for himself. He was un-branded and ready to go.
McConaughey is equally frank, funny occasionally peculiar in his memoir. He even talked in detail what actually happened in his infamous 1999 arrest for playing bongo in the nude. Depending on your perspective, he can comes across as spiritual, preachy at times. You can fittingly dismissed his bumper stickers teachings as bogus but you can never deny Matthew McConaughey’s book is an entertaining read from start to finish. Strangely, his entire life up till this point is far more exciting and enticing than the first half of his movie career. Enough of that, isn’t it time for us to catch our own greenlights.
Review by Linus Tee
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