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.

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