Inside Out (2019) – Demi Moore

Title:Inside Out
Author:Demi Moore
Publisher/s:4th Estate/Jonathan Ball Publishers
Date of publication:2019
Star Rating:⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Disclaimer:Jonathan Ball Publishers kindly sent me a copy of this memoir in exchange for an honest review.

There is absolutely no doubt that Demi Moore was, and is an icon. She had iconic film roles and was involved in iconic relationships. She made iconic friendships, and when she walked the red carpet at high-profile events, Demi Moore was one of the most talked-about and photographed celebrities, especially during the ’80s and ’90s.

Demi grew up in Roswell, New Mexico with parents who were just kids themselves. She credits her grandmother and an aunt with being the reliable and loving adults the actress and her younger brother Morgan needed, whilst their parents were still trying to grow up themselves. It was the ’60s and ’70s and her parents were too busy moving around and having parties to pay attention to how their own kids were turning out.

Moore’s relationship with her mother was a space of tension and resentment. Ginny was beautiful and sad and exposed her daughter to an adult world of sexuality and responsibility. Demi was still a teenager when her mother left her father and brother and moved to a tiny apartment complex in West Hollywood. They were neighbors with a young German actress named Nastassja Kinski who had been brought to America by the Polish director Roman Polanski. The two young women became friends, and suddenly Demi was inspired to try acting.

Before her first role in 1982 tragedy had wrapped itself up in her life. Her mother had attempted suicide, and her own first experience of sex was in the form of a violent assault at the hands of a much older man. Years later Morgan would be the one to discover their father had died at the wheel of his car, and after leaving home Demi would spend years not speaking to her mother. It was also at this point that Demi admitted alcohol and drugs had become a problem, and she was forced into rehab at the age of 21 before beginning work on St Elmo’s Fire in 1985.

From movie roles to marriages, Demi was always excessive. She was married three times, most notably to fellow actor Bruce Willis of Die Hard fame, with whom she had three daughters – Rumer, Scout, and Tallulah – and much later to That ’70’s Show’s Ashton Kutcher who was 15 years her junior. Her film roles included G.I Jane, Striptease, A Few Good Men, Ghost, and Indecent Proposal, and despite the critical success, the road there was fraught with controversy and negativity. Though sober and with an impressive work ethic, Demi’s struggle with addiction was far from over, and it became her body that she began to fight with in the form of an eating disorder and a complicated relationship with her weight.

By the early 2000s, Demi Moore had taken a massive hiatus from acting. After 19 years of sobriety, she had fallen off the wagon, and later on, become estranged from her ex-husband Bruce and her daughters. It would take coming to terms with her tragic past, and time spent at her mother’s death bed for the actress to finally share with her family and the public, aspects of a life that had been extremely traumatic.

Moore has an incredible voice. She is unapologetic and brutally honest, and at times this can be difficult to swallow. From a childhood spent with troubled parents, to the beginnings of a career in the spotlight surrounded by temptations and a loss of privacy, Moore became a member of the infamous Brat Pack alongside Rob Lowe, Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez, Ally Sheedy, Judd Nelson, and Andrew McCarthy. She married the very famous Bruce Willis and became very famous herself. She raised three daughters and played extraordinary roles, and all while running from the paparazzi’s constant harassment, something Moore could never quite come to terms with.
Inside Out is exactly that – it is the analysis of life from the inside out and back in again. It is about the film industry and women in that industry, and the double standards female performers are constantly held up against. This memoir is about a woman, a mother, a daughter, a wife, and an actress who battles with addiction, and poor self-image, and despite all the scrutiny and the struggles, she manages to come out gracefully and stronger than before. Demi Moore’s story is important, and Inside Out is a stunning Hollywood memoir.

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