Melissa Joan Hart Talks Sex, Partying and Drugs in Her Memoir
The '90s teen queen is all grown up and living an "abnormally normal life" as the mother of three boys, but she wants you to know how cool she was back in the day.
In Melissa Explains It All: Tales From My Abnormally Normal Life, Melissa Joan Hart -- the star of Clarissa Explains It All, Sabrina: The Teenage Witch and Melissa & Joey -- discusses her experiences as a child actor, her awkward teenage years, boyfriends, parties, sex and drugs, and now, her normal adult life.
Despite the title, her life was not so normal. Here are five fun and out-of-the-ordinary things we learn about everybody's favorite witch:
1. She loves puns.
If you couldn't tell from the title alone (a pun on her breakout sitcom Clarissa Explains It All), she's a lover of puns. Readers will find them sprinkled -- err, poured -- throughout. This comedic device often falls flat: Coming of Stage (Chapter 4) and Straight From the Hart (Chapter 7) being two examples. At one point, she even says, "I was free to make out to my Hart's delight." On her multidimensional role on Sabrina -- she was an actor, director and producer -- she said she enjoyed "the magic of directing."
2. She's still trying to prove that she isn't a child anymore.
This book details the circumstances by which Hart lost her virginity with her first boyfriend, Mike. (It was the night of his birthday, and she was celebrating winning an award.) Awkward! It discusses how she cheated on her second boyfriend, James, with Ryan Reynolds. Double awkward! And here's the real gem. No. 11 on her list of 12 life lessons: If you get caught carrying sex toys through airport security, hold your head high and own it. "This goes for vibrators, furry handcuffs and any sort of edible undergarments," Hart writes. "Maybe you wanted a snack for the plane ride; they don't know. Lots of women have worked hard to earn us these sexual freedoms, and no TSA person can ever take that away from you." Duly noted, but readers don't need to be reminded about how much sex Hart has. She has three boys after all …
3. She's got attitude -- especially about her fellow teen actors.
Hart has a bit of an attitude when it comes to her peers. In her introduction, she writes: "I'm not big on lectures, and if you wanted an advice book written by a '90s teen star, you should've bought one by Jennifer Love Hewitt or Alicia Silverstone." She didn't like acting opposite James Van Der Beek, who played Clarissa's boyfriend. "Though the producers said I could help choose Clarissa's 'love interest' from three head shots, when they laid them out I suggested we could go with anyone but an actor called 'James Van Der Beek.' (Oh, come on. I know people think he's dreamy but I never got the appeal.) This was five years before he began getting naked with most of the cast on Dawson's Creek. But despite my objections, guess who they cast? Yup, my opinion didn't weigh as heavily as I'd hoped."
4. She isn't a '90s teen queen anymore, but that doesn't stop her from trying to prove she's still cool.
Hart has clearly moved on from the days of Clarissa and Sabrina, and in doing so, she seems to have become a bit out of touch. Case in point? Her use of vocabulary. Who says "doobie" anymore? She writes excessively about her partying, bragging about having "dropped ecstasy" and "getting her drink on." It all feels like it was written by a mother of three (which it was).
5. Her life is abnormally normal (now).
If anything, this should have been called Melissa Explains It All: My Abnormally Normal Adulthood. Her crazy party days when she was younger don't signal a sense of normalcy. "I've never snorted or shot anything into my body, and the one time I was offered coke, which happened to be by Paris Hilton, I turned it down," Hart writes. Kudos for turning down drugs, but until Paris Hilton offers cocaine to everyone, this does not seem abnormally normal. She threw water in Oscar de la Hoya's face in Cabo. Again, not normal.
There are moments in the final third of the book -- when Hart discusses her mother's poor health, the passing of a friend and challenges of being a wife and mother -- that she comes across as having a normal life. But the first two-thirds of the book, which really just seems to be about bragging about her partying and coolness (all through those bad puns and uncomfortable sex stories) left us wishing Melissa had explained a little less.