I've always liked Ricky Martin; he makes really fun pop music, he's sexy, and he seems like a genuinely nice guy. And sure we all assumed he was gay gay gay. So I was excited when Martin came out of the closet last year. Not shocked, excited. He was the biggest male star to come out, maybe ever, and how cool he didn't wait until he was a senior citizen to do so.
Now Mr. Livin la Vida Loca has come out with his autobiography, Me, and I really wanted to love it. Sorry Ricky, the book didn't shine for me.
The early part of the book, about Martin's years in Menudo, are vague and fleeting. The years of his young adulthood, his wild single days, are skimmed over. He doesn't want to dish or reveal secrets, and that makes it seem superficial and almost glib compared to other biographies. Me acknowledges affairs with men and women, both meaningful and not, and then skirts right past them. It makes for clunky reading when he says that he is gay, and that he was in love with a woman, and does not go any deeper.
Ricky Martin is a spiritual person, and this book tells of his journey along that path. We can relate to the tales of self reflection and the general "there's got to be more to life than this" moments. But it's hard to relate to the personal anguish or midlife crisis of a guy who is wallowing on his private island in the Caribbean.
And that midlife crisis is all he wants to talk about. Martin looks back at his past experiences through his new spiritual perspective, writing of how views them now as opposed to what he felt at the time. He constantly writes my destiny or it was time or it was meant to be. Okay, but what happened? How did you feel? How did you react? He relies on this sort of generic "aligning of the cosmos" rhetoric way too much and in the end I feel very little of his own personality came through.
Martin pretty much breezes over major points in his life I'm sure his fans would like to know more about. The song writing process could have been really interesting to read about. Or some fun anecdotes from his time with Menudo. A closer look at his relationship with his family, perhaps? I'm not necessarily asking for juicy sex life gossip, well ok I am asking for some of that, but nothing here is especially revelatory or fascinating. I did appreciate and admire his thoughts on fatherhood, philanthropy, child trafficking, and all the hard work he puts into his foundations around the world, and that shone through just fine. Ricky Martin the guy is impressive. Ricky Martin the book not so much.
Me is Ricky Martin's story, and he can tell it any way he wants to. It just doesn't seem like he wants to. For an autobiography, it struck me as awfully guarded, which defeats the purpose of writing one in the first place. Me is recommended for only the most die hard fans.
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