Andrew's Reviews > Reasons to Be Pretty

Reasons to Be Pretty by Neil LaBute
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's review
Jan 23, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: plays
Read from March 21 to 23, 2010

I got introduced to this play when a couple of friends performed the first scene as part of an acting class. It was amazing how captivating Labute's work can be with actors who know how to utilize the timing, punctuation and interjections. Labute, like Pinter, has a gift for infusing an otherwise ambiguous line with layers or meaning.
I found one of the key conflicts in this play to be the characters inability to adequately communicate, to fully articulate what was meant. It is easier for Greg to deflect the conversation using a joke or a flippant "Whatever" than to actually say what he means. It's not even a matter of cowardice; it's more like he doesn't have the self-knowledge or vocabulary to respond to Steph. Steph can never find the right words, which leaves her with only profanity or violence.
While this play does deal with similar themes as The Shape of Things and Fat Pig, I don't feel as though Labute is repeating himself so much as continuing to explore similar issues from different angles.
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