The Marriage Idea: A Book Review

Near-fatal ODs and love faxes to Julia Roberts: What Matthew Perry’s memoir reveals about love and marriage

The last line of Matthew Perry’s new book about being married to Julia Roberts reads like a love letter to his wife, and it’s been one of my favorites as I’ve read it dozens of times over the past year, ever since it was published on Oct. 1.

Perry’s book is titled “The Marriage Idea,” and it covers the first two years of their marriage, from their first date to their honeymoon to the birth of their daughter. It’s chock-full of interesting details and anecdotes that Perry offers, and a lot of them are about Julia and how he feels about her. He tells the story of how he and Julia first made out on their first date, they’ve done many other things together, from seeing the Grand Canyon to hiking up Mount Whitney to seeing the Taj Mahal. He relates what it felt like to be married to someone who, after all the years of marriage, had only just met him. He then tells how he learned about Julia’s love life, and how he wanted to marry her.

Perry also talks about how, while engaged to Julia, he read The Catcher in the Rye, and how that book changed him. But perhaps the most shocking section of the book — which Perry writes about at great length — is when he talks about how he met Kate Capshaw’s father, who he describes as “a sweetheart and a gentleman.” At the time of Perry’s engagement, Kate’s father was engaged to her best friend, and Perry says he and Kate “had no idea” that her father was also a man. Perry writes, “Later I discovered that our friends were a lovely couple but that my father was a man without a country.”

Perry says, “I could have done without meeting a father like that — he seemed to know every woman who was beautiful and every woman who was not. He knew the things that would make her love me. He knew what was out of bounds. He was in every category except love. I don’t want to have to work that. I don’t want to have to be the one to tell him I don’t want to.”

The chapter about meeting Kate’s father ends with, “He lived my life for the past three

Leave a Comment