Review: Melissa Rivers' 'Red Carpet' misses the mark

Friday, February 12, 2010

Are you planning a wedding or trying to survive a breakup? Or maybe you're unemployed. If you're experiencing high-pressure situations like these, Melissa Rivers has advice -- and lots of it -- in her new book, "Red Carpet Ready."

Rivers is best known for covering fashion on the red carpet with her mother, comedian Joan Rivers, for E! Entertainment and the TV Guide Channel. She says those gigs taught her how to think on her feet, handle curve balls and maintain her cool, traits everyone needs at one time or another.

At its best, "Red Carpet Ready" is a quick read with some interesting anecdotes about Rivers' life, including her divorce, being replaced by the TV Guide Channel and various encounters on the red carpet. Her mother makes an occasional cameo, with commentary on subjects such as the importance of preparation.

The book can be hard to read. A chapter about being comfortable in your own skin has a section with wedding tips like "give your vendors as much lead time as you can, because stuff happens." Another chapter has a section on how to make a proper apology. Tangents like these make "Red Carpet Ready" seem unorganized, choppy and hard to follow.

It also leaves the reader wanting more. Yes, Rivers dishes about Hollywood (like sharing a table at a restaurant with Sean Penn, who gave her divorce advice) -- but there's not enough to satisfy readers. And the stories get lost in between lists such as how to navigate the holiday season.

She should have drawn more on her experiences on the red carpet, growing up with a celebrity mom and working in TV, so the reader experiences what she went through -- and hopefully learns a few lessons along the way.

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