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Diane Keaton's charming new book: 'Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty'

Imperial and Royal MattersDiane KeatonWoody AllenLiz SmithHarry of WalesJack Nicholson

"Awareness is learning to keep yourself company. And then we learn to be more compassionate company, as if you were somebody you are fond of and wish to encourage," said Geneen Roth.

ARE you worried about losing your looks, or aging, or dying or the "usta wuz" you once were? Are you worried about losing relevance or the ability to stay true to yourself and not care about what others think?

Well, join the club! And read about a movie star who is unique. Diane Keaton -- the girl who made lobsters famous in Woody Allen's "Annie Hall." (I think she is largely responsible for making his work more popular, more loveable.)

Diane has now written a follow-up to her first best seller, "Then Again." And this book is relaxing and charming, unlike everything else out there in the dark apocalyptic stacks. "Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty," well, it made me laugh out loud many times.

And Diane just assumes the reader is not an idiot and she doesn't over-explain everything and leaves you to wonder only that a 67-year-old movie star collects photos of public men she likes -- old and young ones. She is eclectic and often doesn't even give the full name of the famous person she is writing about. But you know!

She offers candid comments and explanations of her emotional friendships with Warren Beatty, Woody Allen, Jack Nicholson and Al Pacino. This is just marvelous. It is different from the "then I wrote, then I met" stuff that ends up being so polite and not "kiss and tell." That is useless. This book is like a dishy lunch with the movie star you thought you'd never be lucky enough to meet. And Diane isn't coy but she kind of is forever hiding her own stardom under a -- top hat or a derby. This is delicious writing and is full of a positive point of view, exclamations of the beauty of ordinary things and helped turn me from sour to sweet in the few hours that I was reading her book.

I was taken by Diane's informal way of raising a daughter named Dexter and a son named Duke. Her last teenager, Duke, is about to graduate from being a boy who adores "mother" and whom he still kisses and calls "Cheeks". So great!

Diane quotes fashion's greatest, the late Diana Vreeland, who said, "I've spent a lifetime looking for something I could never find."

I know Diane Keaton from one long, long meeting where we had a great time dishing everybody we knew in common. So satisfactory, and when I discovered her at a book party recently, I had the pleasure of seeing her up close when Woody appeared and they embraced. That was a really sweet moment. And I thought she was excellent and brave onstage at the insane Golden Globes, dressed in her semi-black tie, to accept the Cecil B. DeMille Award for him. She ignored the rowdy crowd and made it all about Woody. She did her job her way, like always.

I feel that reading this book would delight Mrs. Vreeland. I found several things I had been looking for but never seen before in a celebrity memoir. So I think Diane Keaton is in a class by herself and this book is good for the soul.

IT'S OFFICAL, ladies, handsome Prince Harry, the "spare" to the throne of England is once again on the market. He has broken up with his lady Cressida Bonas. But People magazine speculates they might meet soon to "think over" a reconciliation.

She is the granddaughter of Edward Curzon, the 6th Earl of Howe. It would be nice if one of these princes fell for a girl who worked in a dress shop, but that's for the movies. In real life -- as real as it gets in the British royal family -- the women need some "credentials." Harry is 29. He's had quite a bit of fun. I'm sure his grandmother would like to see him settle down.

TONIGHT, Literacy Partners holds its kick-off cocktail party at the popular Michael's, 24 West 55th Street. Come and hear all about what will really happen on June 17.

(E-mail Liz Smith at MES3838@aol.com.)

(c)2014 TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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