As brilliant an actor as Baldwin can be, his comic acuity may be so keen partly because we associate him in real life with a darker, more dolorous personality. His new book, “A Promise to Ourselves,” is a treatise on how the family law system in America is broken, and why it should be changed. It is a serious book, masquerading as a manifesto but eventually turning into a desperately sad memoir, layered beneath the polemic, about the failure of Baldwin’s marriage and his estrangement from his only child. ...As the review says, Baldwin is funny in this video. The review ends:
Baldwin barrels forward, arguing that American family law is a system of lawyers and judges working in cooperation to drain the wallets of divorcing couples — an industry that preys on the vulnerabilities of the already vulnerable. “To be pulled into the American family law system in most states is like being tied to the back of a pickup truck and dragged down a gravel road late at night,” he writes. “No one can hear your cries and complaints, and it is not over until they say it is over.”
For all its faults, its creakinesses and almost codger-like crankiness, its occasionally sludgy prose, this book has a point. Divorce is hell. Lawyers are vultures. Children get lost. Baldwin bravely set out to illuminate and change the way divorce is conducted in this country; he also, wittingly or not, offers a candid, unhappy portrait of a marriage gone desperately sour.I think the reviewer might be missing the point. Baldwin is not trying to tell the story of a marriage gone sour, or to say that divorce is hell. His divorce is a small part of the story. This is a book about the evils of the family court.