Thursday, July 31, 2003

Demi Moore is Back. Now I'm Crying, Too:

Unless you recently had your eyes and ears yanked from your head, you know that "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle" was just released--like Napalm--on a public that knew it was coming but found itself powerless to escape. Generally, I avoid summer releases because of their rock candy effect--they look sweet then hurt like hell--but my brother's dog had just died horribly and Seattle was an uncharacteristic 90 degrees. Sad and sticky, I ducked into the follow-up to 2000's massively popular, "Charlie's Angels".

Riding a Snickers buzz, I surrendered to the film's playfulness and forgot that its budget was more than Guatamala spent on food last year. The Angels project an easy charm: Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, and Lucy Liu are believable engaging in fun that girls, apparently, just want to have. Also, I hold a soft spot for Matt LeBlanc (laugh if you will) and what film isn't improved by Luke Wilson's sweet visage?

My problem--my huge fucking problem--with "Full Throttle" is Demi Moore. As Entertainment Weekly, Vogue, Us, and Slate have recently announced, Demi Moore is back! After taking time off (more on that in a sec) she's cavorting onscreen once more (a testament to the powers of bikini wax and hair conditioner) and publicly foreplaying with Ashton Kutcher (ibid). I applaud the latter--I think all of us do--but the "More, More, Moore!" headlines grate for several reasons:

She never really went away: Moore's last film before "Full Throttle" was 2000's little-seen indie, "Passion of Mind". Studio publicists, take note: she took a three year break. A hiatus to be sure, but I've had phone conversations--and orgasms--last nearly as long. Just because no one saw it, she didn't promote it, and it received dismal reviews doesn't mean "Passion of Mind" gets expunged from her record.

The revisionist history: Lately, interviewers have posited that Hollywood and the public soured on Moore because she played such "strong women". Did I miss a meeting? Are they referring to the waif in "Ghost" who's rescued by a dead guy and cries all the time? Or the gamine in "Indecent Proposal" who forgives her husband-slash-pimp and cries all the time? How about "Disclosure" 's pulpy vixen who blows Michael Douglas (but surprisingly, cries very little)? In fairness, I skipped "G.I Jane": maybe this time, Moore's character bursts with intelligence and je ne sais quoi. I doubt it.

Her forehead: What the hell did she do to the upper third of her face? Was it Botox? A steam iron? Her forehead is eerily unlined now and appears ceramic, like Lenox with a tan. Obviously, Moore isn't responsible for Hollywood's obsession with youthful perfection, but why adhere to a raw food diet if you're going to have your face injected with botulin? Neurotoxins can't stop Moore's onscreen weeping, though. Culminating her return, Moore cries full throttle in "Full Throttle", lashing out at Charlie via speaker-phone. Truly, Demi Moore is back.

Now I'm crying, too.

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

For Oscar, with love always.

Fifty Questions for God

1. Hey, do you have a second?
2. Why do some people have everything while others have nothing?
3. Will there always be war?
4. Why is there disease?
5. Mental illness?
6. Evil?
7. Why are there birth defects?
8. Why do bad things happen to good people?
9. All the time?
10. Are there ghosts?
11. Is there a heaven?
12. Is there a hell?
13. Would the world be a better or worse place if we spoke a universal language?
14. Had a universal faith?
15. Do you choose sides?
16. Ever?
17. How do stoplights work?
18. How do ships float? (The water displacement theory seems kind of sketchy.)
19. How many types of flowers are there?
20. Which is your favorite?
21. How many kinds of dinosaurs were there?
22. Will they ever make a comeback?
23. Evolution: True or false?
24. Is there life on Mars?
25. Anywhere in the universe besides earth?
26. Does it bug you when people refer to "the universe" (i.e. "The universe knew I was sad and sent a baby squirrel to my window") when they actually mean "a god of sorts" but don't want to sound uncool in front of their friends?
27. Do you send baby squirrels to people's windows, or do you have other things to do?
28. If scientists were lying about neurons, protons, and electrons, how would the rest of us know?
29. Can you ever tell your friend you don't like their fiancée without it backfiring?
30. Is it okay to break up with someone because they're obsessed with curry?
31. Because they told your mom she makes an inefficient use of space in her refrigerator?
32. Because they wear climbing sandals on flat land?
33. Because they quote Andre Gide just to sound smart?
34. Once and for all: Do animals have souls?
35. If heaven exists, will I see my pets there? (That would be nice.)
36. How about rats and the thing that crawls around under the deck? (That would be creepy.)
37. Are you a man?
38. Are you a woman?
39. Both, but not in the personal ad kind of way?
40. The guy from the deli wants to know: Are you a doughnut?
41. Also: Can he drink himself sober?
42. Why do some people have children they don't want?
43. How can anyone hurt a child?
44. Does each new filmmaker have to cite Truffaut as an influence?
45. Auto-erotic asphyxiation: Greed or stupidity?
46. Is anyone more bitter than a drama professor without tenure?
47. An editor without health insurance?
48. Some years, could winter be optional?
49. How about gravity?
50. Birds fly over the rainbow: Why can't I?