Coming to theatres from writer/director Paul Weitz and Roadside Attractions is a pair who team up when MOVING ON.
When a long-time friend passes away, Claire (Jane Fonda) has a reason to attend the funeral. During the eulogy given by husband Howard (Malcolm McDowell), another longtime friend Evelyn (Lily Tomlin) bounds in making it clear she is not interested in anything being said by Howard.
Meeting up at the gathering after, Claire informs Evelyn that the only reason she is there is to kill Howard. At first Evelyn tries to talk Claire out of it but as they talk to one another about what has happened in their lives since college and revelations come out, Evelyn decides to help Claire after all.
But something unexpected happens when Claire sees ex-husband Ralph (Richard Roundtree) and goes to his house for dinner. Meeting his grown daughter and grandkids, she sees that he has done well. When they have the chance to speak alone, Ralph wants to know what he did that made their marriage end.
That reminds Claire of her plan and Evelyn is two steps ahead. Calling Howard, he agrees to meet with her to talk later at the park. Packed and ready with Evelyn, Claire takes Howard aside and things do not go as she plans. It is Evelyn who receives a bit of a nice shock from Howard’s daughter Molly (Catherine Dent) that brings her joy.
Life has a way of setting things right, especially when these two women decide to move on!
Fonda as Claire is a woman who has been holding in pain for decades. Staying loyal to her college friend, once passed, she is going use that pain to end him. The problem is saying a thing and doing a thing are opposites. Fonda as Claire gives us a character that has spent all her time living with the pain on the incident by not telling anyone and it ruins the happiness she could have had. Fonda gives giggles, the sadness of regret and still amazing playing opposite Tomlin.
Tomlin as Evelyn has taken life in stride the best way she can. Trying not to let the bad seep in, she accepts what life has given her. When Claire arrives announcing her intentions, Evelyn slowly realizes her own pains and jumps on the revenge bandwagon. I love this character because of the ease in which Tomlin changes gears given the situations. Tomlin is hilarious, authentic and still amazing playing opposite Fonda.
McDowell as Howard is a man who clearly knows how to make everyone believe he is the victim in life. Using his selective memory, Howard makes Claire feel dirty and worthless in the way she remembers the biggest pain of her life. An ugly character from a beloved actor which means he is so good at his craft.
Roundtree as Ralph has questions of his own. Remembering a marriage that was good, he still decades later does not understand what truly happened. Having the chance to talk to Claire is important plus, he is thrilled to see her again. Roundtree performance is that of a man who moved on and created a good life and I thought this character so graceful.
Roadside Attractions has, since 2003, grossed over $300M and garnered nineteen Academy Award nominations. They have had critical and commercial hits such as MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, BEN IS BACK, BEATRIZ AT DINNER, HELLO MY NAME IS DORIS, WINTER’S BONE and THE COVER as well as so many others. For more information of what Roadside Attractions has to offer please visit www.roadsideattractions.com.
MOVING ON is a film about how decades can go by so swiftly to some but to those with unanswered questions and pain, those decades can drag by. Claire is a woman who never spoke about the one traumatic thing that changed the course of her life and there is painful regret. The difference is the regret has turned to revenge – with a little help from Evelyn.
Being women of a certain age (not sure what that age is but okay), looking back can be hurtful along with the reality that so much time is wasted on what can’t be changed. That’s the lesson of becoming older! Claire and Evelyn come to understand it and then life has its say. Watching these two actresses together is always amazing. I still love them in 9 TO 5, and love them in GRACE AND FRANKIE, and once again in MOVING ON.
There is a chemistry between Fonda and Tomlin that is undeniable and a combination of so many emotions. They play off each other with such ease and style that I hope they return to the screen again soon. For now, catch MOVING ON and know that revenge can be fun to watch!
In the end – it’s never too late for revenge!