Sunday, May 6, 2007

The Rise and Fall and Rise of Drew Barrymore

In Hollywood, child abuse isn't a vulgar anomaly, it's a logical and acceptable business decision. There's a long, infamous, and tragic history in showbiz of greed-crazed parents pimping out their kids for a paycheck. And most of the time, these former child stars wind up dead, in jail, struggling through years of threapy, or doing a reality tv show.

("Oh sorry, Mr. Bonaduce, I didn't see you lying on the floor there.")

But there are a few who not only survived the minefields of Hollywood, but kept their money, became bigger stars and turned out happy in spite of it all.

For example, Drew Barrymore.

Regrets? She's had a few.

In her autobiography "Little Girl Lost", it describes the problems Drew had as a famous child actress (ET, Altered States, Firestarter) wrestling with the seductive demons of pot, booze, cocaine, an irresponsible mother and too many bad choices. Before Poison Ivy, she couldn't get a job.

Now? Drew is a well-respected and successful movie star whose films in the last decade (Never Been Kissed, Charlie's Angels, The Wedding Singer, 50 First Dates, and Fever Pitch) have had a worldwide box-office gross of 2.3 billion. Sure, (Music and Lyrics, co-starring Hugh Grant) wasn't a big hit, but it broke even, and made a tidy profit in DVD sales and rentals.

Drew Barrymore chose not to be another childhood statistic.

When asked about Lindsay Lohan, a promising young actress who picked up the sex 'n drugs 'n' Rock & Roll lifestyle that Drew left behind, she answered, "I know Lindsay, and I like her very much. You just have to be as graceful as you can. You know, you flub, you flub. And that's life. Do what you want, but just be professional."

Lucky You, the new film by Curtis Hanson (Wonder Boys, L.A. Confidential, 8 Mile) hasn't gotten very good reviews. So what? After everything Drew has been through, a flop won't kill her.