A marriage made in Hollywood heaven occurred on this date in 1987 when Bruce Willis and Demi Moore tied the knot. Until their divorce in 2000, Moore and Willis generated memorable roles, eye-popping paychecks and one lovely Rumer, the unusual name of their first daughter.
Then again, not much about Willis and Moore's marriage was usual. Rumer's birth was captured for posterity by no less than three professional videographers. Their second daughter, Scout Larue Willis, made the cover of Vanity Fair before she was born when Mom posed pregnant and nude. Tallulah Belle Willis arrived in 1994 with considerably less hoopla, except for the fact she was named Tallulah Belle.
At times their lives together as described by tabloids overshadowed their movies. Sometimes that was a blessing. Imagine the mood around the Willis-Moore household in the days after Hudson Hawk and Nothing But Trouble flopped. But there were some good ones made while they were married. There is also our first suggested Rewind pick this week:
Mortal Thoughts (1991) _ The only movie in which the lovebirds appeared together. Willis plays an abusive husband whose wife (Glenne Headly) enlists her best friend (Moore) to murder him. It's a bad movie with more perverse resonance after the divorce.
Ghost (1990) _ Moore was elevated from ingenue to movie star as the grieving wife of a murdered man (Patrick Swayze) solving that crime from the hereafter. The potter's wheel groping is still one of the most erotic scenes in movie history.
Nobody's Fool (1994) _ Willis' best acting often occurs in supporting roles, as in Robert Benton's character study of an aging rascal (Paul Newman) flirting with the wife (Melanie Griffith) of his rival (Willis). The role of Carl Roebuck showed a fragile sense of humor Willis doesn't often express.
Striptease (1996) _ Moore set a new record for female actor salaries ($12.5-million) to prove having three children hadn't diminished her physical attributes. She played a single mother resorting to stripping to support her daughter (played by Rumer at age 7).
Pulp Fiction (1994) _ What can you say? Quentin Tarantino's crime puzzle is nearly perfect. Watch the midsection again, with Willis as a boxer on the lam, to gain respect for the actor's skills. Keep an eye out for the Gimp.
Indecent Proposal (1993) _ Glossy trash with a lot of flash. Moore plays the wife of a Las Vegas loser (Woody Harrelson) offered $1-million by a wealthy gambler (Robert Redford) if she'll spend the night with him. Chump change compared with her $5-million salary for the film.
Twelve Monkeys (1995) _ One of the few films I'll admit I was wrong about the first time. Terry Gilliam's sci-fi fantasy is a conundrum that some people still can't figure out and most have stopped trying to decipher. Willis plays a convict sent back in time to stop a world-killing plague, but he, and the movie, go too far for comfort.
A Few Good Men (1992) _ Moore held her own opposite Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise in a military courtroom drama directed by Rob Reiner.
Armageddon (1998) _ Willis saved the world from a colliding asteroid, then announced he would never settle for such incredible savior roles again. The world thanks him.
G.I. Jane (1997) _ The first female Navy SEAL recruit (Moore) suffers through training under an ultra-tough master chief (Viggo Mortensen). Director Ridley Scott's feminist message was lost in Moore's cheesecake workouts, but I dare you to find a more hilariously profane telloff line when she gets the upper hand.
The Sixth Sense (1999) _ Willis begins his more serious cinematic choices with a gripping ghost story that invited _ perhaps demanded _ multiple viewings. There is no truth to the rumor that Moore visited the set and Haley Joel Osment predicted: "I see divorced people."