Arts Desk

Nine Important Facts About Diane Keaton’s Book Signing at Sixth & I

If you shop at Talbots, you probably had a pretty hard time deciding what to do last night. Martha Stewart was giving a talk at the DAR Constitution Hall, Annie Leibovitz was doing a signing at Politics & Prose, and—as a part of the media tour promoting her new memoir Then AgainDiane Keaton was at Sixth & I. Addressing the overwhelmingly female sold-out crowd (“Is this a room full of extras in a Nancy Meyers film?” I whispered to my friend upon arrival), Keaton proved to be exactly what you’d expect: charmingly self-deprecating (“I’m a mom, I’m not that charming”), prone to trailing off mid-sentence (“Today I went to the Lincoln Memorial, and oh! I saw the National Gallery, oh, but you don’t care about this…”), and brimming with anecdotes about kissing Jack Nicholson.

She also turned out to be an uncommonly powerful storyteller. The portion of Then Again from which she read focused on a period of Keaton’s life around the early 1990s, a time when she was navigating the contradicting emotions of turning 50, adopting her first child, and watching her mother’s drawn-out struggle with Alzheimer’s. The tone lightened a bit during the audience Q&A, but all in all the evening proved to be a kind of anthropological study of the Washington woman who has probably watched Something’s Gotta Give at least once in the past year. “If you’ve never had a kosher brownie before,” I heard one of them say, “then tonight is your night!”

Female/male ratio: 9:1

Over 50/under 50 ratio: 6:1

Biggest applause line: “I never thought I'd be cast in another romantic comedy, let alone kissing Keanu Reeves.”

Biggest ironic-laugh line: “You all know Woody, he keeps…uh…evolving.”

Worst audience question: “I wanted to ask you who you’d rather take with you on a desert island, Woody Allen or Warren Beatty, but I knew you wouldn’t answer that. So I’ll ask instead: who would you rather take on a desert island, Alvy Singer or John Reed?”

Keaton’s diplomatic answer: “I would take my two children.”

Keaton’s nail polish choice: Matte silver with crosshatch decals (“Sally Hansen,” she informed me. “Try it!”)

Overheard in the dessert reception area: “There are so many good shoes going on in this synagogue right now.”

Best dessert: Kosher brownies. Duh.

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  • suzie f

    Not sure what the corelation is between shopping at Talbots and having a hard time deciding what to do last night could possibly be? weird opening sentence.

  • jackie fishman

    Sure women are attracted to Diane...she never let a man define her. Plus don't forget that OVERWHELMINGLY the questions during the Q&A came from YOUNGER women looking up to Diane as an icon and model of how to be a woman.

    One young woman even deplored the lack of good role models in her generation, citing, Lindsay Lohan and others, then proceeded to ask for words of advice from Diane. Of course Keaton laughed that request off saying she certainly didnt feel qualified to offer advice. So, take that with your sneer on Talbots (I am QUITE sure that Diane DOES NOT shop there and neither do I)!

  • Ally Schweitzer

    I didn't interpret the Talbots line as a sneer. Is there something culturally debased about Talbots? (Granted, the company has lately struggled to appear fashion-forward---and it's lost significant business as a consequence.)

    I read the writer's lede as a funny quip about the number of iconic women who happened to be in D.C. that night---and the professional, female, 30-60 demographic that embraces them. Face it: Talbots aims to appeal to those women, and they do, though not as successfully as they used to.

    Though WCP editors and contributors already hashed this out on Twitter this morning, and the consensus is we should have gone with Chico's.