Wishful Drinking (2010)


Wishful Drinking is an autobiographical humour book by American actress and author Carrie Fisher, published by Simon & Schuster in 2008. Fisher’s book was based on her one-woman stage show, which she developed with writer/director Joshua Ravetch.

The show debuted at The Geffen Playhouse. Fisher performed with Ravetch co-creating and directing. It enjoyed a successful Broadway run and then toured in other cities. In 2010, HBO filmed a feature-length documentary of the stage play.

Also known as Carrie Fisher: Wishful Drinking.


Book Reception

Wishful Drinking received generally positive reviews from critics. The January 2009 New York Times review described it as a “funny, sardonic little memoir”, but “pretty slight, padded out with big type, extra space between the lines and some family photographs, and it displays at times an almost antic need to entertain. The paragraphs are short, and the jokes – the puns, the wisecracks, the deadpan one-liners – come rattling along at the rate of one every other sentence or so.” Salon reviewer Rebecca Traister found the book quite funny in large part, but was disappointed that “instead of pushing aside the twinkling craziness of her outside life to meaningfully reveal the crazy on the inside, as she has always done so well, Fisher is now gathering all the starry stuff around her for comfort and reassurance about who she is and what she means.”

The author, who died on 27 December 2016, had written the following comment in the book, and it was widely published by the news media after her death:

Now I think that this would make for a fantastic obit—so I tell my younger friends that no matter how I go, I want it reported that I drowned in moonlight, strangled by my own bra.

Stage Adaptation

The book followed Fisher’s one-woman play in which Fisher had been performing. Developed originally at The Geffen Playhouse with Josh Ravetch co-creating and directing the world premiere, it moved to Berkeley Repertory Theatre near San Francisco at the beginning of 2008, the production opened in a limited run on Broadway at Studio 54 on 22 September 2009 (previews) and 04 October 2009, and closed on 17 January 2010. After its successful San Francisco Bay Area run and before moving to Broadway, Wishful Drinking played at, among other venues, the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. in September 2008, and Seattle Repertory Theatre April to May 2009.

Production Rights Dispute

While the show met with critical and popular success on Broadway in New York, Fisher was soon embroiled in a battle with producer Jonathan Reinis over its production rights. Each claimed lost revenue at the hands of the other.

Film Documentary

HBO cable television released a filmed documentary of the stage show, directed by Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, and first broadcast in December 2010. The 76-minute film was released on DVD on 13 September 2011.

The film production and DVD received a mixture of reviews.


  • Carrie Fisher … Self.
  • Eddie Fisher … Self.
  • Harry Karl … Self (archive footage).
  • Debbie Reynolds … Self (archive footage).
  • Maxine Reynolds … Self (archive footage).
  • Diane Sawyer … Self (archive footage).
  • Elizabeth Taylor … Self (archive footage).
  • Richard Dreyfuss … Doctor Frankenthal (archive footage) (uncredited).
  • Harrison Ford … Self (archive footage) (uncredited).
  • Mark Hamill … Self (archive footage) (uncredited).
  • Meryl Streep … Suzanne Vale (archive footage) (uncredited).
  • Mike Todd … Self (archive footage) (uncredited).


Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato.
  • Producer(s):
    • Fenton Bailey … producer.
    • Randy Barbato … producer.
    • Mona Card … co-producer.
    • Garret Edington … associate producer.
    • Lisa Heller … senior producer.
    • Sara Kordy … coordinating producer.
    • Christopher Massimine … coordinating producer.
    • Sheila Nevins … executive producer.
    • Robin Seidon … line producer.
  • Writer(s): Carrie Fisher and Joshua Ravetch.
  • Music: David Benjamin Steinberg.
  • Cinematography: Teodoro Maniaci.
  • Editor(s): Marc Cohen.
  • Production: World of Wonder Productions.
  • Distributor(s):
    • HBO Documentary (2010) (USA) (TV).
    • HBO Hungary (2011) (Hungary) (TV).
    • HBO Max (2020) (USA) (video) (VOD).
  • Release Date: 12 December 2010 (US).
  • Running Time: 77 minutes.
  • Rating: Unknown.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

Video Link

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