I just finished watching the movie ‘Can You Ever Forgive me’ starring Melissa Mccarthy, and I actually had mixed reviews. First off, Mccarthy was wonderful in this movie, The REAL character, Lee Israel, not so much.
Here was a woman who finished both High School and college, and decided to become a writer. In and of itself, THAT is OK, what bothered me was that she became an alcoholic. After SOME success, she turned to letter forgery in order to make a living.
In the 60’s and 70’s, she freelanced for some of the top magazines in the country. In the late 70’s and 80’s, she wrote biographies of famous people. Her best works were of Tallulah Bankhead and Dorothy Kilgallen, where Kilgallen rose to number 15 on the New York best sellers list.
After that, with her alcoholism raging, she dropped off the grid, fell into a depression and couldn’t focus her brain on writing ANY books or articles. She literally had gone from a semi successful writer, to a woman on Welfare who was starving.
In order to get by, she wrote forgeries of famous peoples letters like Ernest Hemingway, Fanny Brice, Dorothy Parker and, Noel Coward. This was very lucrative for a year and a half until the FBI caught up with her and ended a promising career.
She was a lucky woman however, and only received a 6 mo. in house stay, and a 5 year probation stint. While on probation, she wrote her own novel of her deceptive life practices.
It turns out that she had written over 400 forged letters and had made thousands of dollars. My question…Should she have benefited from this book, OR, should the money have been paid BACK to those she had duped? You be the judge!!!