March 26, 2022

Greenlights vs Will

I just finished reading Will Smith’s auto-biography, Will. It reminded me a lot of another movie star auto biography, Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey. I can easily say that I liked Will a lot more than Greenlights, even though they share a lot of similarities. If you like Will Smith, Will is worth reading. It is an entertaining read and I learned a lot about the musician/actor.

Either one of the books, about Smith or McConaughey, would not be interesting or remarkable if they were not famous. I think all of us have the desire to tell our own stories… whether those stories are worth telling or not. In both cases the stories are worth telling, but only because they became famous. I think Will Smith does it better, and creates a better book out of his life.

I like an auto-biography… so I guess I create a low bar to clear. Usually they contain a lot of interesting facts, but most aren’t worthy of creating a post about. I think Will checked a lot of the boxes for a good auto-biography. Greenlights is fine, but I could never recommend it. While most of it was entertaining there were a few parts I actively disliked. I didn’t connect with the message. The through-line didn’t work for me.

Will doesn’t necessarily have a through line. It is merely a story about an extremely famous man, told from his own perspective. I have no real basis to judge it, but it feels genuine. It was grounded and relatable… at least the extent it can be.

I enjoyed reading about Will’s life. I think he did a good job with the book. It only started to lose me a little bit at the very end. It was almost cliche to have the ultra busy movie star step back and realize what is really important in life. It was an obligatory last act where the main character undergoes a change.

I’m glad I read both Greenlights and Will, but Smith created a better book. Still not 100% sure which one of the two people would be more interesting to sit down and have a conversation with.