The multitalented writers, directors, producers, and actors (as seen on The League, Transparent, and The Mindy Project)share the secrets of their lifelong partnership in this unique memoir.
Whether producing, writing, directing, or acting, the Duplass Brothers have made their mark in the world of independent film and television on the strength of their quirky and empathetic approach to storytelling. Now, for the first time, Mark and Jay take readers on a tour of their lifelong partnership in this unique memoir told in essays that share the secrets of their success, the joys and frustrations of intimate collaboration, and the lessons they've learned the hard way.
From a childhood spent wielding an oversized home video camera in the suburbs of New Orleans to their shared years at the University of Texas in early-nineties Austin, and from the breakthrough short they made on a three-dollar budget to the night their feature film Baghead became the center of a Sundance bidding war, Mark and Jay tell the story of a bond that's resilient, affectionate, mutually empowering, and only mildly dysfunctional. They are brutally honest about how their closeness sabotaged their youthful romantic relationships, about the jealousy each felt when the other stole the spotlight as an actor (Mark in The League, Jay in Transparent), and about the challenges they faced on the set of their HBO series Togetherness--namely, too much togetherness.
But Like Brothers is also a surprisingly practical road map to a rewarding creative partnership. Rather than split all their responsibilities fifty-fifty, the brothers learned to capitalize on each other's strengths. They're not afraid to call each other out, because they're also not afraid to compromise. Most relationships aren't--and frankly shouldn't be--as intense as Mark and Jay's, but their brand of trust, validation, and healthy disagreement has taken them far.
Part coming-of-age memoir, part underdog story, and part insider account of succeeding in Hollywood on their own terms, Like Brothers is as openhearted and lovably offbeat as Mark and Jay themselves.
"Wright. Ringling. Jonas. I'm sure you could name a bunch of famous brother teams. They're all garbage compared to Mark and Jay. I can't wait for you to read this book."--from the foreword by Mindy Kaling
This didn't really do anything for me. It's by no means a bad book, but it didn't feel special or unique in any way. And when I read a celebrity memoir, I'm not looking for a re-hashing of events but a reflection on them. What I liked about this book and about the Duplass Brothers is their emotional intelligence. It's reflected in their films, which I've particularly enjoyed through the years. When I heard their interview with Brene Brown on her podcast I was even more impressed by them! So after a few friends IRL had recommended this to me, I was eager to read it.
The audiobook is wonderful. Their performances are natural, and the way they switch back and forth as narrators but also play off of each other in certain sections is very endearing and comfortable.
However, the content of this book left a lot to be desired. So much of the book is about their experiences making films. And sure, I love film and I love hearing about behind the scenes information. But they spend a lot of it talking about their particular brand of film-making, their journey from nobodies to indie auteurs, their collaboration and brotherhood—and they never go any deeper. It's all tell and no show. They don't dig any deeper than explaining or re-telling their experiences, or at least they didn't have enough reflection to make this more universal for the reader. So to me the main audience for this book is people who are huge fans of their work, and just want to consume any content about them.
That's why I say this isn't a bad book, but it's not for me. I like them as much as the next person, but when I read a memoir I want more meat. I want to see how their experiences might reflect my own or be a foil to them. And I want some more consideration and reason behind the books existence beyond just, "I'm a celebrity so I can sell books based on my brand." They openly admit at times how completely busy they are with multiple projects, this book being one of them, and honestly it felt like less attention and care was put into the structure and motivation for this book because of it.
All in all, a short audiobook that was enjoyable enough on my daily walks but not one I can wholeheartedly recommend unless you're a crazed Duplass fan. And even then I think you'll get enough of them out of the Brene Brown interview that you should just listen to that.
This is funny and sweet. I loved reading about Mark and Jay's weird, intense, yet somehow natural and so *human* relationship. I am astonished at how they managed a joint personal perspective and actually turned what could have been a technical struggle into a story enhancer with those carefully selected, "I am writing this chapter alone" bits. Obviously since this is . . . well, not a memoir exactly . . . I'm not sure what it is but based on real life anyway, it has some parts that work better than others. I was going to give it four stars, but then that last airport scene tied everything together so masterfully. Amazing!
I chose to listen to this audiobook because Jay Duplass (one of the authors) was featured on the only podcast that I really listen to: Happier with Gretchen Rubin. I thought his interview was insightful, and the book proved to be so as well. The most interesting thing about Jay and Mark Duplass to me is how "emotionally evolved" they are, while still being "bro-y". They cry together and talk through conflicts using therapy-learned language, and yet they still act like dudes and brothers and make fart jokes. Randomly, I am also interested in the structure of these entertainer memoirs. I have also read Amy Poehler's "Yes Please," Tiny Fey's "Bossypants," and Mindy Kaling's "Why Me?". I guess it was time for me to read a male entertainer's book. What was fun about this one was the different types of chapters. There were the standard essays about growing up and their initial ventures into film-making, but there were also chapters dedicated to their airport game (where they watch people at the airport and make up a story about them) and chapters dedicated to their ongoing argument about the 10 best movies of all time. I liked the variety, and it shred different perspectives into their personality. I have a lot of respect for how observant they are about studying human nature, about how careful they are with each other's feelings, about how honest they are and how honest and authentic they make their work. Interesting read!
I've enjoyed a bunch of Jay and Mark Duplass's movies over the years--especially Safety Not Guaranteed but also Skeleton Twins and Jeff, Who Lives At Home--never seen any of their TV shows, and always thought they seemed like reasonably interesting, smart people with a lot of energy and some charm. And that's true of Like Brothers, a dual memoir of sorts in which the boys, sometimes writing as "we", sometimes in alternating chapters, discuss their childhood and personal life, their creative career, and offer advice to aspiring filmmakers. It's a breezy read (though far too long), and it does make you want to see their movies, but the most eye-opening part of their story to me was just how crazy close they are, sleeping in a twin bed together even as adults, frequently crying with each other, endlessly talking about their feelings. It's a little sweet and enviable, a little weird and claustrophobic. Also like the book?
I loved the chance to read about such a strong bond between siblings. I'm obsessed with Mark Duplass and all of the Duplass brothers movies. Getting to read about how their script writing process works was awesome! Great read!
Like Brothers is serving all the nostalgic feels. I mean, of course Mark and Jay slept in the same twin bed when they were seven and eleven by choice just to be closer to each other. Their soul mate bond was there from the start. The Boys had a Knowing that they were meant to be outstanding. They understood that they were the architects of their own destiny. And their destiny was clear.
The heart of them remains the same as it was back in 1984 when they got cable (Mark asking Jay what cable is: “Do they just drag it down the street and plug it into the house?”), bringing a warm fuzzy quality to the brilliant films they make. The Puffy Chair. Outside In. Jeff, Who Lives at Home. Paddleton? Freaking PADDLETON?? Look up “mic drop” in the dictionary and there’s Paddleton. How do you even…what do you even do with yourself after making that film? But they keep going, they keep making films that resonate so strongly and feel so right they seem like they were already a part of us before the first lines were written.
Like Brothers is legit the best memoir I have ever read. It is insightful AF. The structure is brilliant—chapters sharing key aspects of their professional journey as partners are interspersed with these little glimpses into their dorktastic passions. Like how they develop characters from people they see at the airport (which I totally do when I’m at the airport with someone!). Basically? The Duplass Brothers are a vibe you want to experience if you have not yet done so. In which case you are very lucky for the opportunity to take it all in for the first time. Enjoy the feels, friendly neighbors.
I loved this book so much. Mark and Jay’s sibling relationship is so reminiscent of mine and my sister’s, I honestly feel so connected to them. Throughout reading this I was continuously stopping to text my sister passages from the book captioned: “US!!!!!!!!”
i.e. “I knew in my spirit that there was something incredibly beautiful and also inherently unhealthy about our relationship.” @Jade ..... US!!!!!!!
Basically I love everything about this book and admire the Duplass brothers so so much. I also loved the sense of completely understanding them and where they were coming from at all times while reading it.
I loved this book. I read it slowly, primarily because the brothers’ relationship made it emotional for me. For anyone who knows what it’s like to be crazy-close to a sibling—and for anyone looking to successfully navigate such a relationship—this book is amazing.
It’s also wonderful for anyone seeking a kick in the creative pants.👖 If the brothers’ entrepreneurial spirit doesn’t inspire you to get out and DO something, I don’t know what will!
If you don’t know who the Duplass Brothers, Jay and Mark, are; well then, shame on you! This acting, directing, screen-writing, just-about-anything duo has not only obtained Hollywood success but are just downright loveable and relatable, as people. The Duplass Brothers are also a little quirky: having a co-dependent sibling relationship that is more expected from a set of twins. However, this is what sets Mark and Jay apart and you can’t help but adore them. Mark and Jay join forces (well, duh!) to pen their first memoir in, “Like Brothers”.
Like the brothers themselves; “Like Brothers” is far from an ordinary memoir and takes on a creative, unique standalone quality unlike its peers on the Hollywood memoir shelves. “Like Brothers” is not a chronological memoir/autobiography nor does it simply focus on one single aspect of the Duplass Brothers’ lives. Rather, the text flows as a complete narrative and yet is comparable to a fictional compilation of short stories. Mark and Jay vary writing styles ranging from script-like inclusions to emails to stories explaining their experiences from childhood, adulthood, and their careers.
The main characteristic that stands out from “Like Brothers” is how incredibly organic it is. No views or biases are forced onto a reader and the brothers don’t put on an act. They are raw but awkward. Readers truly gain an insight into the Duplass psyche without feeling overwhelmed and meanwhile still being entertained. It’s quite incredible for a Hollywood memoir (as they are generally not on this caliber) and again: could pass for incredible short stories.
Elaborating on this, “Like Brothers” is simply written quite well. Most celebrities (even those with ghost writers) should stick to their day jobs because writing is not their forte. Mark and Jay demonstrate their talent for writing in “Like Brothers” as both the actual composition and the style is on point.
A slight annoyance (but not too terrible) is the repeated habit of brushing against a topic but saying that this will be “discussed later”. Either talk about it now or dismiss the disclaimer! It isn’t necessary!
On the other hand, a strong positive of “Like Brothers” is the absence of fellow celebrity name-dropping, or the mentioning of drugs, alcohol, and sex. Also missing is the general ‘woe is me’ attitude that most celebrities seem to have in their memoirs begging for undeserved pity. “Like Brothers” has none of these and is a classier work.
Sadly, “Like Brothers” loses some of its first-half charm and steam. The writing is still exemplary but the content becomes repetitive and focuses less on the philosophical strand and showcases the filmmaking aspect of the brothers’’ lives. That being said, this is in line with a true memoir highlighting the careers of Hollywood figures and the Duplass Brothers do this smoothly with a storytelling flair.
The final quarter of “Like Brothers” is genuinely lacking the charisma, punch, and finesse, that is so evident earlier in the book. Instead, the text is somewhat forced and dragging while being too straight-line which doesn’t even feel like the Duplass norm. This results in a weak, truncated, and flat ending leaving the reader grasping for a stronger memory. “Like Brothers” is thus affected negatively as a whole and loses some of its earlier merit and reader excitement. A shame, truly.
Unlike most Hollywood memoirs, the Duplass Brothers opt out of including a section of photo plates for one black-and-white childhood photo and an adult photobooth strip. Surely readers would like a pictorial insight in the Duplass early life.
“Like Brothers” isn’t a typical memoir and has special sticky elements that will satisfy Duplass fans and non-fans alike even despite its weaker second half. “Like Brothers” is a quick read offering a more complex bite, suggested for fans of the Duplass Brothers or of Hollywood memoirs, in general.
There's a bond between some siblings that is so deep and so complex that it's weird. Part of it is growing up together, in the same house, with the same memories. Mark and Jay Duplass are one of these pairs of siblings. They shared a small bed, even when they didn't need to. They work together. They collaborate on project constantly. It's weird. It's insular. It's amazing.
Like Brothers is the story of their relationship and their working partnership. They have had a lifelong dream of being creative together. They are open and honest in how they speak to each other and let the other know when their feelings are hurt. They know weaknesses and strengths.
I am a fan of both of Duplass brothers. Their films are interesting and offbeat in the way that I enjoy. Now, I'm a fan of them...as people, as brothers, as siblings.
Thanks to NetGalley, the publisher and most of all, the Duplass brothers for the opportunity to read this book.
I love everything the Duplass brothers do. Even their more mediocre stories have a feeling of emotional genuineness that is comforting and familiar. They take small stories and feelings and make them feel important, because that's what the average life is made of. Nowhere is that more true than in this book. They share stories of times they got mad at each other as children, times they disagreed on creative matters, or how they came up with a shared top ten films list.
Getting to hang out with these guys for several hours in an audiobook is well worth the time.
In this beautifully-creative memoir, two brothers share with readers what it has been like to be so close as brothers from their childhood all the way into adulthood. They share the behind the scenes experiences of what went into the, acting, directing, producing and writing of some of the most emotionally raw visual art out in the world. The vulnerability Mark and Jay share with each other is re-created so authentically in the back-and-forth dialogue and carefully constructed emails they send to each other when things feel "off" in their creative process and/or their relationships.
I have to start this off by saying YOU ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO LISTEN TO THIS ON AUDIOBOOK. My favorite kind of books to listen to on audio are ones where I feel the narration adds to the experience of the book. Like Brothers is the definition of this. The audiobook isn't read so much as it is acted out by both brothers and I would have missed out on so much of the quirky energy of this book if I would have read it with my eyes instead of my ears.
My favorite thing about Like Brothers was hearing how these two brothers loved one another and essentially made successful art in the world together because of and also despite of how close they are relationally. Following their success and failures over the course of the very beginning of their career made me feel like a close friend rooting for them to make their dreams happen in a big way. The creative range of this book added to the reader's understanding of how their relationship works and it felt like I was reading about a family friend that I had known most of my life. It was fun and exciting to feel "let in on" how they exist together so closely.
The emotional depth and high EQ of these brothers, made for a both entertaining and captivating listen. I laughed until I cried, I cried until I laughed and honestly, I think that is what Mark and Jay set out to do with Like Brothers. I love memoir style non-fiction, and Like Brothers is easily one of my top 5 favorite memoirs of all time. You guys need to listen to this!
A must read for fans of Duplass films--it encapsulates their unique philosophy in the film-making world and offers intriguing details about the making of many of their early films (The Puffy Chair, Bag head, Jeff who lives at home etc) and a reflection on their two seasons of Togetherness on HBO.
It's very confessional, a bit preachy at times, but so smart, sweet and honest. You can make money creating films on your own with the big studios. I hope there are many listening so we get more films like there--please. As they say the Calvary isn't coming so jump in and make your films; make films instead of meetings.
And these brothers love each other, tear up together, fight, seek forgiveness...in effect, they are exactly the kinds of people you find in much of their productions. Plus they are freakin geniuses: Mark was sent at 14 to help Jay through a tough time at his first year of college (not to mention he had a successful band as a teenager); Jay steadily guided them from behind the camera from a very young age and then, much later, stumbles into acting when he was asked to play a major role in the Amazon series Transparent.
Fun quick read about salt of the earth filmmakers--a rare combination.
Perhaps the most important thing this period taught us was how wonderfully complex and shape-shifting relationships can be. Until that point we were certain that, because our relationship began a certain way, it would follow that dynamic forever. Instead we were forced to reexamine what it meant to be truly intimate with someone.
I don't remember exactly how this book ended up on my TBR 3 years ago, but I do know that after Brene Brown had Mark and Jay on her podcast to talk about this book, I moved this up on my list. The audiobook is phenomenal, with the conversations that they write in the book just spilling out naturally to your ears. And after reading this, I can absolutely see why Brene Brown loved this! There is such heart and vulnerability in this story of two brothers/business partners/best friends. And while I truly only know the Duplass brothers for their roles on the Mindy Project, I was absolutely charmed by the love they share in this book. It's charming, but ultimately, I think much of the content will fade away for me. Instead, I think I'll remember the vulnerability in their words instead of the words themselves.
I know this gets thrown around a lot, but this is a MUST READ for upcoming independent filmmakers. There is important practical advice for your career and your soul:)
Beautifully read (performed) by the brothers Duplass - this book is a powerful chronicling of the filmmaker's journey so far through their lens so but more importantly is about the power of coming to terms with focusing and and working on understanding their relationship with each other and others.
While being non-fiction (with some great little essays and fiction stories in between chapters) this book brings what any great read should offer. I laughed, cried, loved and lived all the moments along with them.
I was amazed at how close these two brothers were. I could not imagine hanging with a 14 year old sibling when I was a freshman in college. That was weird. The book is an easy read. But I found myself skimming at certain parts. They go into great detail in many events and situations. How did they remember everything? They do give good advice if you are interested in getting into the business.
After Blue Jay, Paddleton, some Room 204, and Outside In within the span of a month or so, I was on a Duplass high!
Then seeing this book pop up for $1.99 on a Kindle sale and I thought it was a no-brainer.
Now all I can say is "Duplass" more like, "DupLESS" as in, give me a lot less of these chuckleheads!
To be fair, I just thought "Duplass bros wrote a book? Wouldn't mind learning about their films and such." And while there's a bit of that (though Creep 1 or 2 aren't even mentioned a single time), this is the most self-involved claptrap I've read in quite some time. Also probably doesn't help that I don't have a brother.
The thing is, the bros talk about how close they are, how they think the same, so when they spend the entire book praising each other...they're really praising themselves. Oh boy, oh freaking boy do they praise each other. Grab your nearest barf bucket, because you're going to need it. Then make sure you have a backup.
"It is not easy to have a little brother, who is so good as so many things," begins one chapter. This chapter was far, far into the book, after they'd praised each other approximately 7,000 times already.
Also: They come up with potential movie ideas and praise how great the other's ideas are. They share their top 10 movies in a recurring bit that wasn't all that interesting or funny. They talk about how all the actors and production people love being on their films. There's a section of the book devoted to the Duplass wives talking about their relationship with their husband's brothers. Excuse me... might need that bucket right now...
I did enjoy some of the advice on working together with creative partners. Thought that was good.
Oh, also, these two cheese balls were like "we did this all by ourselves, believed in ourselves, worked hard, oh, by the way, we once were paid $500,000 (in the early '90s so keep inflation in mind!) to make a corporate video even though we weren't really qualified to do so... oh, also we have rich parents too and they loaned us money to make a film."
So when they spend time telling people how to make their kind of movies and make a go as a filmmaker, they never mention "oh yeah, having a shit ton of luck/rich family can help quite a bit."
Neither here nor there, but when I try to picture Mark Duplass, often Ron Livingston pops up in my mind. Does that happen to anyone else?
I started writing this review and it was two stars. The more I wrote, the more I got kind of annoyed. But I'll still watch Creep 3 if that ever comes out!
Informative, funny, touching, wide-ranging, and, like all the best collaborations, greater than the sum of its parts. This was the book on filmmaking that I've always wanted to read.
Before starting this book, my exposure to the pair was limited to one movie that they had helped produce. But by the end, I felt that I knew them better than if I had seen their work. What could have been an easy memoir, the brothers instead made this a large collection of small stories: numbered chapters detailing their career journey and life history, interrupted by vignettes about any number of topics. Some were personal anecdotes, some dialogues, some email exchanges, some advice pieces, and others short hypothetical stories, with none longer than a few pages.
We end up with part tour of the indie film industry, part cautionary tale about Hollywood, part film guidebook, and part personal history about these brothers' bond and how their creative collaboration has both strengthened and tested that bond. With that last part being what everything else came back to, the book had a strong emotionality that hit me especially hard; I broke out in tears at multiple points throughout the book. I've always searched for information about how close collaborators work, and this is everything I've always wanted to read.
I can see the criticism that this book can get too cutesy, or too personal, or too corny at points. But you know what? That's exactly what it's like to be in a situation like theirs. A collaboration is about people opening up and sharing the most vulnerable aspects of themselves, and that requires constantly working at your relationship as much as you do at the work itself. I'm so glad they were able to capture the reality of it all.
Highly recommended to anyone interested in creative collaboration, especially those interested in the film industry and particularly the independent side of Hollywood.
I listened to this on Audible. I didn't know who Jay and Mark Duplass where until I heard them on Brene Brown's podcast and immediately wanted to read/listen to their book. I loved their stories and insight into their super close relationship. While it's somewhat normal for siblings to be close, Mark and Jay are beyond that, they call each other their soul mates and openly acknowledge their co-dependenace. It was really interesting to hear them talk about this and explain how they keep their bond strong while also giving deep attention to other aspects of their individual lives since they are older and each have their own families now. They spend quite a bit of the book talking about their evolution as film-makers (and its clear how talented they are when listening to this). For anyone interested in making films, I can see how their insight on this topic would not just be valuable in an educational way but also uplifting and motivating. I'm not really a huge movie fan and don't know their material so couldn't always connect to the story during these sections. I also would have preferred for the book to flow in a more chronological timelime. For some reason, there were just times that I wasn't really super enaged in the book despite the clever and openness of it which is why I gave it 3 starts.
The audio version is fantastic and it felt like the Duplass brothers were telling me a story for 5 hours even when they were giving genuine creative advice. There were parts that felt like it jumped around somewhat because there was no visual context the book had for chapters ending, but it wasn't distracting. I'm not a filmmaker and do not collaborate with my siblings on projects but it's still useful information for anyone who's a fan of their work, generally interested in expanding their creativity, or learning how to collaborate with their coworkers.
I think my love for this book is on par with how I love the acting, directing, and writing of this brotherly duo. I really really enjoy their work. I am always interested and engaged. To say it is mindblowing--not sure, but it always has this immense amount of quality. I appreciate the fact that they continue to produce their work.
My favorite part of this book is their loss of friendship when focusing on their business side of things. I often see that happen to so many relationships whether family or friends. It was so refreshing to hear how they handled it.
Funny and engaging book from these directors, I have enjoyed some of their cult films, and am happy to see that they are gaining mainstream success with their Netflix productions... "Outside In" was very impressive... I didn't realize they are from the great city of New Orleans!!! This book is perfect for people who enjoy their work and their humor, or for aspiring film industry folks who want to know how these guys "made it." I most enjoyed reading about their relationship dynamics and little stories about their lives and peculiar sensitivities.. What strange cats these Duplass Brothers are.
Very interesting book. Some parts a little indulgent but so so interesting to hear how their creative relationship works and witness the checks and balances they have to go through to maintain. Two very deep feeling human beings - two of the most in touch humans I've ever listened to reflect and dissect relationships and story telling. I think REALLY worth listening to the narrated audio book vs. reading the book on the page. Fun to hear their inflections and the tag team nature of their relationship.
Despite having only seen 2... well, now three - I did look up "This is John" - Duplass Brother's productions(?) I really enjoyed this book! It was really wholesome, I liked reading about their sibling/familial love, professional working relationship, and how they navigated the film industry. Their care and support for each other when navigating difficult decisions, and being bluntly honest, was both inspiring and adorable. What a team! Now, to catch up on their other films!
They are a couple of interesting guys and this is about their trajectory to success in the film industry. We saw them speak at the LA Library Foundation's Aloud series. They are funny and quirky and everything you'd expect. As is the book. They are interested in helping young talent (or perhaps I should say new talent) so if you or someone you know has a great screenplay, find them.