Matthew Perry

Review of “Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing” by Matthew Perry

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In the memoir Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, Canadian American actor, executive producer, and playwright, Matthew Perry, opens up about his lifelong battle with addiction and the struggles he faced behind the scenes of the beloved sitcom Friends. This raw and honest account offers readers a glimpse into the man behind the character of Chandler Bing.

Matthew Perry’s Battle with Addiction

Perry’s memoir delves deep into his personal struggles with addiction, revealing a side of his life that he kept hidden from the public eye for many years. The book begins with a harrowing account of Perry’s lowest point, when he found himself in a sober living house in Southern California, suffering from chronic constipation caused by addiction. Hospitalized and in excruciating pain, Perry’s journey to recovery had reached a critical stage.

Throughout his life, Perry estimates attending 6,000 AA meetings, detoxing 65 times, and spending a staggering $7 million in his quest to get sober. His memoir paints a gritty picture of the challenges he faced on this tumultuous journey.

From Outsider to Funnyman

Perry’s struggles with addiction started long before he achieved fame on Friends. As a child of divorced parents, he always felt like an outsider within his own family. From a young age, he developed a knack for using humor as a coping mechanism, eventually turning it into a career.

Perry’s sarcastic and witty sense of humor became his trademark, both on-screen and off. He used his comedic talent to gain attention and validation from others. However, his addictive personality and relentless pursuit of fame only exacerbated his personal challenges.

Matthew Perry in Friends

Apologies and Self-Reflection

In his memoir, Perry does not shy away from acknowledging his past mistakes and the harm he caused to those around him. He offers scattergun apologies to his family, colleagues, and ex-girlfriends, recognizing the pain he inflicted on others.

While Perry demonstrates self-awareness and remorse, he also exhibits moments of arrogance and insensitivity. He refers to himself as one of the funniest guys on the planet and frequently highlights his wealth and success. His words and actions demonstrate that his transformation is still a work in progress.

A Mission to Help Others

Not many would know, despite his own battles, Matthew Perry dedicated himself to helping others overcome addiction. He transformed his old Malibu house into the Perry House, a sober living facility. Perry invested a substantial amount, around $9 million, in this project to provide a supportive environment for those seeking recovery. His commitment to helping others was unwavering, and he was always ready to lend a helping hand to anyone in need.

Loneliness and the Need for Connection

As the memoir concludes, Perry reflects on his life at the age of 53. Despite living in a luxurious ocean-view home, his existence feels empty and devoid of true companionship. He reveals that he shares his space with a sober companion, a nurse, and a gardener, emphasizing the lack of genuine human connection in his life.

The overwhelming sense conveyed in Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing is that of a lonely man yearning for meaningful relationships and acceptance. Perry’s journey serves as a reminder that fame and success do not guarantee happiness and fulfillment.

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Conclusion

Matthew Perry’s memoir is an eye-opening account of his struggles with addiction and the personal demons he faced behind the scenes of his successful acting career. Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing provides readers with a raw and honest portrayal of Perry’s journey, showcasing both his victories and his setbacks.

Through this memoir, Perry showcases his vulnerability and the complexities of his personality. While his path to recovery has been anything but smooth, his willingness to share his story offers insight and understanding to those who may be facing similar challenges.

In the end, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing is a testament to the strength of the human spirit and a reminder that, no matter how successful or beloved, we all have our own battles to fight.

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