Ali Wentworth: “Head Case”‘s Memoir About Growing Up Privileged

Yesterday was the release of Ali inWonderland: And Other Tall Tales by Ali Wentworth. Described on Amazon as an “addictively funny and warm memoir,” it’s said to be largely about the effects on the author of growing up privileged. Kirkus Reviews calls it, in fact, a “satirical dissection of class and privilege.”

From The Washington Post:

She rebelled — by becoming an actress, with stints on ‘In Living Color’ and as Jerry Seinfeld’s girlfriend on the ‘Soup Nazi’ episode. Her book recounts bumps along the way — we’ll call them rich-girl problems — solved by therapy and stays at the Four Seasons.

In addition to the TV shows mentioned above, you might know Ali Wentworth from regular “Fridays Live” stints on Oprah’s former talk show or as the wife of George Stephanopoulos, TV journalist.

Then again, some of you lovers of therapy spoofs may have seen her in Head Case, a Starz show that ran from 2007-2009 and starred Wentworth, who made good use of her improv skills in her role as Dr. Elizabeth Goode, “…a self-absorbed, $450-an-hour therapist whose own issues run far deeper than those of the narcissistic celebs she treats in Beverly Hills” (Gary Strauss, USA Today).

Wentworth’s own previous experiences in therapy gave her plenty of material for this role. According to USA Today:

Shortly after college, Wentworth says she thought she had reached a breakthrough moment with one therapist. Poised for intelligent insight, Wentworth instead was asked where she had bought her shoes. A second therapist — jettisoned after one session — told her she would probably have recurring sexual dreams about her. A third suggested she purchase a stuffed animal so Wentworth would have it to talk to about relationships.

As described by The New York Times, Ali Wentworth plays Dr. Goode as:

…a therapist who possesses neither sympathy nor understanding, insisting instead on bamboozling her patients into believing that they have issues they actually don’t…

Goode’s patients are actual celebrities who play themselves. In the following brief clip, actress Rosanna Arquette‘s session, to her dismay, is continually interrupted by the personal needs of boundary-breaking Dr. Goode and her secretary Lola (Michelle Arthur). (Update, 2018: video no longer available.)

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