Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin in Goofy Paul Weitz Film – The Hollywood Reporter
After spending seven seasons together effortlessly casting stunt doubles as Grace and FrankieJane Fonda and Lily Tomlin were well-prepared to bring their finely honed comedic chemistry to a larger canvas, such as that offered by Paul Weitz’s new feature film, Move on.
Unfortunately, they can only go so far in deflecting attention from fundamental tonal issues that never cogently tie in with the film’s darker themes. Overlooking a bland generic title that sounds like something Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau might have taken on in the ’70s, the revenge-driven satire certainly sounded like Weitz’s stuff, coming from a filmmaker who didn’t shy away from mixing social relevance in humor, as shown About a boy (co-directed with his brother, Chris), In good company and Paternity.
A hard sell of a revenge comedy.
On its surface, the montage — a pair of old friends reuniting to finally (as in, fatally) settle an old score against the recently widowed bullying husband of a mutual friend — can’t help but hold undeniable 9 to 5 seduce. But when the impetus for this drastic action is finally revealed at the end of the film, it lands with such a seismic jolt that it effectively halts cold-procedure insofar as the film is never able to find a way back. convincing its comic base.
As a result, despite the audience-pleasing presence of its two leads, it could be a challenge for the indie title, arriving at TIFF in search of cast, to find a suitable home – particularly when its target demographic has been more resistant to the idea. to leave the comfort of their streaming devices and return to theaters.
Hiding behind a pair of big mousy glasses and a mane of snow-white hair, Claire de Fonda doesn’t exactly look like someone with a vendetta. But when she shows up at the funeral of a dear friend, she wastes no time greeting the late husband (Malcolm McDowell) with a coldly executed, “Howard, I’m going to kill you!”
The precise reason for his intentions will not be fully shared with the public until much later. But it’s apparently known to her old pal, Evvie (Tomlin, who can recycle a casual line like no one else), who’s more than willing to help Claire get the gun she needs to carry out his mission.
Evvie, a musician who has lived her life with no filters when it comes to saying who she is, hasn’t been too forthcoming about her own personal situation: she had to abandon her house and move into a residence- services. But she manages to eclipse Walter’s eulogy, proclaiming herself to be his late wife’s lesbian lover.
Amid all the daring, Claire manages to reconnect with her ex-husband, Ralph (a suave Richard Roundtree in a fine performance), and their ensuing renewed romance gives the film its tender center. But while one would be perfectly happy to spend more time with the two of them, Claire still has unfinished business with the unrepentant and defiant Walter. And when the gravity of his transgression is finally revealed, the heaviness of it simply feels out of step with the out of place black comedy that both precedes and follows the dramatic confrontation.
Although Tomlin (for whom Weitz wrote in 2015 Grandmother) and Fonda are quite capable of taking their characters in any direction they are asked, Move on ultimately locks the actors – and the audience – into an awkward stalemate.
Venue: Toronto International Film Festival (gala presentations)
Production companies: Depth of Field, Limelight, Boies Schiller Entertainment
With: Jane Fonda, Malcolm McDowell, Lily Tomlin, Richard Roundtree, Sarah Burns
Director: Paul Weitz
Screenwriter: Paul Weitz
Producers: Andrew Miano, Paul Weitz, Stephanie Meurer, Chris Parker, Dylan Sellers
Executive producers: Zack Schiller, David Boies, Tyler Zacharia, Dan Balgoyen, Britta Rowings
Director of photography: Tobias Datum
Production designer: Michael Wetstone
Costume designer: Molly Grundman-Gebrosi
Publisher: Hilda Rasula
Music: Amanda Jones
1 hour 25 minutes