John Lyttle on film

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The Independent Culture
Has there ever been a more ambiguous tag line in movie history than that for Demi Moore's The Juror? To wit: "There can be no defence." Indeed. This is the third time she of the Timotei hair has been asked to carry a movie, and despite the $12m paid so that Mrs Willis would get them out for the lads in Striptease (testing badly, by the by), it's becoming clear that carrying shopping might even be beyond her. The Butcher's Wife turned out to be dog meat, and no one wanted to open The Scarlet Letter, and Demi certainly didn't deliver the audience on that all-important opening weekend, despite being "the highest-paid woman in Hollywood".

In tandem, it's a different matter. Swayze in Ghost, Cruise in A Few Good Men, Douglas in Disclosure - all made major money. The Juror, however, a star vehicle, "under-performed" - just as Michelle Pfeiffer's pet project, Dangerous Minds, unexpectedly went nova on her name alone, leading many to crassly ponder whether the system was backing the right beauty.

Which isn't to dismiss Demi (right). Her pet project, Now and Then, is a small-scale female buddy-buddy flick with its heart in the right place (where its head is is another matter). And GI Jane will see her with gun in hand and attitude all over. But she's making the same ra-ra feminist noises about playing soldier that she made about flashing her boobs, and, worse, she's not drawing on that contradiction to melt her plastic persona and make herself interesting on screen. Or could it be that Demi isn't aware there is a contradiction? If so, there can be no defence.

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