Rebecca’s Pick: Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey

I’ve never been a huge Matthew McConaughey fan, but I’ve never outright disliked him either. I don’t know about you, but I when I hear his name I immediately get the mental image of Wooderson from Dazed and Confused who oozed cool as he uttered the iconic line “alright, alright, alright.” McConaughey and Wooderson have always been pretty much synonymous for me. Sure, he’s portraying a character…but is he really, though?

Greenlights showed me that although there’s still some truth in that I now know there is more to free-spirited Matthew McConaughey than I gave him credit for.

“We’re all storytellers in the movie business. That’s what we do. We play make-believe. And when we do it well, we make you believe.”

To me, the only option for this one was the audiobook. If you’re going to listen to a story about Matthew McConaughey’s life, there’s really only one person that can do the job.

In Greenlights McConaughey described his childhood growing up, from his semi-tumultuous household with the unique cast of characters that were his dad, mom and two brothers to the summer abroad he spent in Australia that wasn’t all he thought it would be. He went on to tell about how he got into acting and his interesting journey along the various paths his career led him, right up to his present day life. He talked about the “green lights” he passed right on through, the “yellow lights” that made him slow down, and the “red lights” in his life that made him stop and think before proceeding.

After certain big roles that he took, McConaughey talked about how he would have to go off on a vision quest of some kind so that he could reconnect with himself. It seemed like he did of lot of finding himself before he could go on screen and “find his man.”

“Sometimes we have to leave what we know to find out what we know.”

Throughout the whole story I never once felt like he was being disingenuous. He wasn’t trying to push his philosophies on anyone; that’s just the way he sees things. Poetic flourishes, colorful language and a little TMI is how he wanted to tell his story, and I appreciated the sincerity of it.

“We are all made for every moment we encounter. Whether the moment makes us or we make the moment.”

Part memoir, part self-help, Greenlights was fun. There’s really no better way to describe it to me. I honestly smiled the whole time I was listening to that smooth, country voice. I teared up a bit at times, and I straight up laughed out at others. McConaughey’s an entertainer, and he sure entertained me.

Watch out for bumperstickers, prescription times, and notes to self.