9:00 am EDT, September 30, 2018

‘The Greatest Love Story Ever Told’ review: The title speaks for itself

Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman deliver The Greatest Love Story Ever Told in a book overflowing with passion for art and each other.

There was a time, very early on in my Will and Grace binge-watching days, where I would force the show (and my encyclopedic knowledge of it) upon my family. If I wasn’t seated in the shared living space executing carefully crafted episode playlists with my DVD box sets, the theme song could be heard every 22 minutes from my bedroom.

There is an episode that remains one of my all-time favorites — “Moveable Feast.” It is a Thanksgiving episode centered around the foursome trying to spend time with each of their respective families. It also happens to be the episode where Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally share some screen time.

That was always my fun fact for a new viewing audience. “Do you know they are together in real life?” Beyond that, I knew nothing else. Not how they met. Not what Nick Offerman did for a living. Or even how long they were together. And even though we now live in a post-Parks and Recreation, Twitter- and Instagram-ridden world, I still don’t know too much about the pair as a couple.

After reading The Greatest Love Story Ever Told, I realize that is partially by design. Not in a cruel, “Don’t give the people anything!!” type of way. But in a way that speaks to the partnership they cultivated together over the last 18 years.

Between TV jobs, stints on Broadway, movies, concerts, comedy tours, and more, the duo’s life reflects the structure of “Moveable Feast.” Each gets their time to explore their personal passions, and see and celebrate the other’s successes, but at the end of the day, they are most looking forward to getting home and being at peace with one another.

The Greatest Love Story Ever Told is not about how many times Mullally and Offerman have sex, what types of sheets they like to have sex on, or fart jokes. That’s not to say those details are omitted. But this is not a Hollywood tell-all. Instead of putting down the book and thinking, “Wow, you won’t believe the salacious stories behind their puzzle photoshoots,” readers are treated to two people who, quite simply, enjoy the other’s company.

The Greatest Love Story Ever Told is about Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman. It’s told as a dialogue, recorded and transcribed across some 200+ glossy pages for your reading pleasure. There are pictures (many incredible pictures) and the stories of how they met, their wedding day, an Emmys mishap, and what fighting about a suitcase really means.

Yet, those details are not what make the book memorable. It is the passages where Mullally and Offerman are reflecting on art, their families, their draw to the business we call show. It is in those exchanges where they observe each other as artists who have depths to unpack and explore, that you get the heart of this book.

In the passages about family, Offerman and Mullally unpack their upbringings. They could not be more different. Where Mullally lacked the parental stability of Offerman’s home, she found structure in the arts. Across the Midwest, Offerman’s large tight-knit family instilled in him the simple lessons of working hard and being honest.

Never is there a moment where their pasts are put into competition. They are treated like anything else in their lives — as complimentary parts that make “Nick and Megan.”

N: Seems like you came out pretty good, though.
M: (Laughs) I’m still learning. But I have Nick Offerman as my example, day in and day out, and that’s about as good as it gets.
N: (Crisp fart noise)

In some ways, this was the most intimate book about a couple I can remember reading since Nancy and Ronald Reagan’s collection of letters. There is something to be said about shared interests told to one another. Not everything will align perfectly, of course. Offerman is not spending his time creating music in a band, and Mullally doesn’t hit up the wood shop on weekends. But both are expressions of passion.

Throughout the book, whenever one attempts to undermine or cut away from discussing these personal projects, the other is there to elevate the work, give it proper due. Nancy and Beth (Mullally’s band) is a place where her heart and soul shines. How do I know this? It’s not only from listening to their music and watching their videos. Mostly it’s from reading about it from Offerman’s vantage point.

If you’re looking for some semblance of hope, beauty and inspiration, look no further than The Greatest Love Story Ever Told. Mullally and Offerman paint a picture of the importance of passion, artistic expression, and having someone to share and support in explorations of both. It is a love story about one couple finding each other through their shared interests and experiences.

It’s hard to pick a favorite section of the book. There are sections for almost anything you can think of — fashion, family, dogs, the changing landscape as their career paths ebbed and flowed.

But there is a passage early on that lingered with me through the entire book.

Megan Mullally Nick Offerman Book

As dialogue between the two drives a majority of the book, there are pauses where Offerman and Mullally write a small passage or two around various topics. One of the first comes from Offerman and is titled, “Bake Amazing Cookies.” Settling in, you think, “Okay, a book about marriage. This is going to be about appeasing the woman in the kitchen!”

It’s not the first time the book will fool you into thinking you’re getting a superficial “how-to” celebrity moment and walk away with something so profoundly unexpected. Offerman recalls providing some advice to a friend looking to land prospective dates. The question on the table is should he take a cookie-baking class? If that is something he is interested in doing and loves, then Offerman advises, AB-SO-LUTELY.

He explains that nothing is more appealing than being in your element, doing something that you love. Worst-case scenario, you walk away from an activity dateless, but with a skill, or the happiness that you just spent an hour or an afternoon doing something you love.

This comes up time and again. Why put off doing something you love in an attempt to find solace in something you don’t? Offerman and Mullally met doing a play. Offerman worked on the sets and took a supporting role, while Mullally walked in fresh from season 1 of Will and Grace with an Emmy nomination. Both were there because they wanted to perform in a show. To make art.

So make the beds the way you want to, get off the couch and smell the forest air, and pick up this book because it is truly The Greatest Love Story Ever Told.

The Greatest Love Story Ever Told Cover

‘The Greatest Love Story Ever Told’ by Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman is available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and your local independent bookstore. Also, don’t forget to add it to your Goodreads “to read” list!

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