Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Mario Lopez has his say...

I just finished another book yesterday.  Since my last book review was on a rather heavy topic, I decided to read something a little lighter.  In honor of my recent Saved By The Bell binge, I bought and read Mario Lopez's 2014 book, Just Between Us.  I think I decided to read it when I read a quote from the book about actor Dustin Diamond.  Lopez apparently got along with the guy who famously played Screech, but evidently Diamond had a habit of leaving Polaroids of his genitals on the set.  I knew I had to read the book when I saw that quote.

In 2014, Lopez turned 41, and I guess he decided it was high time he wrote his mid-life story.  Mario Lopez hasn't played A.C. Slater in many years, but he's still well-known for the role.  Realizing that Saved By The Bell both put Lopez on the map and may have caused some typecasting, Lopez has expanded his brand.  In a surprisingly formal style, he writes about his upbringing in Chula Vista, California and his many talents... everything from drumming to wrestling to dancing and hosting.  He's not just a pretty face and he repeatedly reminds readers of that fact.

I have to admit, I think Lopez wrote a pretty good book.  Yes, he comes off as a little cocky at times, despite his assurances of how humble he is.  But he also clearly loves his family, especially his mom.  He writes about good decisions he made, as well as notably poor ones.  Lopez is now married to Courtney Mazza, and together they have a son and a daughter.  But before he was married to Mazza, he was also married to Ali Landry, who found out that he lied to her about a bachelor's trip he took before their wedding.  They decided to annul their marriage just two weeks later.

Lopez also got involved in an ill advised business deal in Mexico when he invested $65,000 in a bar that lost a lot of money.  He writes that his practical mother, Elvia, had told him to invest in rental properties instead.  He did take his mother's advice and bought houses that he rents out.  But he also invested in the bar because he thought it would be fun.  He did not get a return on his investment.  He did have fun owning a bar, but didn't make any money.

These days, it seems Lopez thinks of himself as more of a host than anything else.  Yes, he was on Dancing With The Stars, wowing everyone with his partner, Karina Smirnoff.  Yes, he's acted on shows other than Saved By The Bell.  But Lopez says hosting is now his "thing" and, more importantly (to him, anyway), not everyone can be a host.  In fact, a lot of actors make poor hosts, Lopez says, because they have been conditioned to be "self-centered".  Actors make everything about themselves because they are constantly having to sell themselves.  Lopez says that as a host, he had to learn how to listen to other people and ask them about themselves.

As I mentioned before, this book is written in a bit more formal style than I was expecting.  The writing could use a little more personality-- maybe some of the personality Lopez shows when he acts.  However, the writing is mostly of decent quality, even if it could use a little pizzazz.  Mario's on screen charisma doesn't translate as well in his writing.  Consequently, it took me a little longer than I would have expected to finish reading his book.

I should also warn those who are looking for a lot of information on Saved By The Bell.  Remember, this is a book about Mario Lopez.  Saved By The Bell represents just a few years of his life.  I'm sure, when he was writing this book, he wanted to remind people that there's more to him than his career as a child actor.  If you think you might want to read this to learn more about Slater, you might want to give this book a pass.  Lopez has done more than Saved By The Bell, and this book reflects that.

Overall, I think I'd give it 3.5 stars out of five.



 

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