While plenty of celebrities think of themselves as hyphenates -- designer-singer, actress-musician, etc. -- we've never been more amused by this trend than when "Ghost Whisperer"–star-turned-relationship-expert Jennifer Love Hewitt debuted her advice book
about dating. Hewitt's been linked to what seems like nearly every dude in Hollywood, so she certainly knows her way around a first date. However, she's also been dogged by rumors of possessiveness and insecurity, and has endured a number of awkward public breakups.
All of which means Hewitt is about as qualified to teach us romantic success as she is to perform knee surgery: Simply having knees
doesn't mean a person knows her way around them. So we plowed through "The Day I Shot Cupid: Hello, My Name Is Jennifer Love Hewitt, and I'm a Love-aholic" and used it as a guide for how any other future "relationship experts" should -- or should not -- ply their trade.
DON'T: Have Any Shame
Some of the personal stories Jennifer shares are awkward -- she spent hours making his-and-hers toiletry kits for a boyfriend, and he hated the idea -- but we applaud her for showing us her warts. Anyone who freely admits that she's gone shopping for engagement rings once a month since she was 12 has a lack of boundaries that is refreshing in a celebrity. It's designed to make us feel better about our own errors in judgment, and it works: We do feel better that we've never bedazzled our "hoo-ha highways" as a coping mechanism. Although we were happier before we knew "vagazzle" was a word.DO: Have a Point
Jennifer's book reads like a bunch of random blurbs she wrote down on a cocktail napkin -- which, she says in the introduction, is essentially how the idea for this book was born. But that means that every 10 pages, we stopped reading and went, "Wait, what is this book about, again?" For instance, the anecdote about how using tongs to throw a man's filthy underwear in the washing machine made JLH feel "like a real woman" taught us nothing except never to use her kitchen utensils. The detailed workout routine in the middle of the book implies that we are single because we're not exercising enough. And in the end, the book trails off into random lists. It seems our girl Jennifer was absent the day the rest of us learned every paper needs a thesis.
DON'T: Use Your Current Boyfriend
Writing a book about dating successes and failures, and then not only dedicating it to your boyfriend but asking him to write a chapter that you will then pepper with comments about how brilliant it is (including things like, "God bless you, Jamie Kennedy") is tempting fate as badly as getting that person's name tattooed on your bicep. Someone who's been around Hollywood her whole life should've learned that lesson by now. Alas, Hewitt has since broken up with Kennedy, and probably wishes she'd gone the tattoo route because at least there's a laser procedure that can wipe that slate clean.
DO: Use a Get-a-Grip Editor
Everyone has that one friend adept at grabbing her by the lapels and encouraging her to WAKE UP. Jennifer, apparently, doesn't, or this book never would've come out in the first place. So instead, she really needed a get-a-grip editor -- someone to tell her not to use eight exclamation marks where one will suffice; that beginning every other chapter with "OK, so ..." is a tad unimaginative; and who has the guts to tell you when your ideas are terrible.
The piece on danger signs in a boyfriend should have been axed because it reads like the world's worst Cosmo article, assuming that either we are too dumb to know a man calling us by another girl's name is a bad sign (wrong), or that we think that is a hilarious truism (wrong again). And don't title a chapter "Cereal Dater" unless you're going to explain the wordplay, or else we're going to close the book and say, "Cheerio." Yeah, that's right, we went there.
DON'T: Undermine Yourself
Did you know that you really ought to consider putting out pretty early, because men need a sexual connection to stick around? Or that if you want to spoon, you should wait until he's asleep and then suction yourself to him? For all her good intentions about encouraging us to be strong when it comes to finding Mr. Right, Hewitt instead comes off like a girl who would rather date ANYONE than be by herself. (See: the chapter in which she says going out to dinner alone was soul-crushing and unbearable. Sister, bring a book! But not this one.)
Though she throws in obligatory lines about girl power, they're always in a context that makes it appear Hewitt believes being a powerful woman equals accepting that you either have to manipulate your man or not blame the poor little lamb for his foibles because they're either genetic or secretly the girl's fault. She should have called the book "Men Are From Mars, So Trick Them Into Thinking You Are Too." It's a tad more psychologically revealing -- and not in a fun way -- than she probably intended.
DO: Second-Guess Yourself
At the end of the day, if a book only seemed like a good idea after a tequila-fueled vacation gab session, it may not translate that well to print. We certainly don't fault Jennifer for having a rocky love life -- don't we all? -- but maybe she should get her own house in order before she tells us we need to hire a maid. In fact, this book might have been more satisfying if she'd ditched the faux advice and just penned a tell-all. After all, who needs another self-help book when there's gossip to be spread?
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