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Moving On (PG-13) ★★★½

By March 18, 2023March 22nd, 2023Backstage Pass

My selection’s during the Toronto International Film Festival September 2022 started off with the comedic writer-director Paul Weitz’s film, “Moving On,” starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Malcolm Macdonald, and Richard Roundtree. The story centers on a man (Howard), played by Macdonald, giving a eulogy at his wife’s funeral; a college friend of his wife, Evelyn, played by Tomlin. She makes a comedic, somewhat snarky entrance.

A few minutes later, Fonda (Claire) gives a detestable stare while walking up to say hello to Howard; he gazes at her with astonishment and is shocked when she says, “Now that she’s gone, I’m going to kill you, and I’m going to do it this weekend.” Believe me, when I tell you this is not a spoiler, as Fonda proclaims this from the get-go. The entire film ends up being a comedy of errors of how she’s going to kill him and if that will eventually ever happen.

This is the second collaboration for Weitz and Lily Tomlin after 2015’s “Grandma,” the acclaimed road-trip comedy in which Tomlin’s character accompanies her granddaughter on a mission to obtain an abortion. “Moving On” contains themes of loss, aging, hurt, regrets, and love are all mixed in the film—one minute you’ll be laughing, and the next will bring you to tears. A thoroughly entertaining film with outstanding performances by all.

My Zoom interview took place with Paul Weitz on March 15, 2023, and to say I was delighted to meet the Academy Award nominee director/writer was an understatement. Our conversation centered on his recent film, “American Pie,” Jennifer Coolidge, and his experience working with his brother Chris Weitz, who is also a writer and director.

A Roadside Attractions studio production with Paul Weitz, the director and writer, told me that Lily Tomlin called him and asked if he would write a movie for herself and Jane Fonda.

The “Moving On” cast of Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, and Malcolm McDowell is a winning combination. You will laugh out loud one minute and tear up the next while viewing the serious scenes. The non-stop action is a comedy of errors and a sweet treat for “Grace and Frankie” fans as well.

Thanks for listening in tonight; I’m Sarah Knight Adamson, your National Film and TV critic for Sarah’s Backstage Pass.

Be sure to check out my interview with Paul Weitz, as we talked about the sisterhood of Lily and Jane in his new film “Moving On,” opening this weekend in theaters.

Sarah Knight Adamson© March 18, 2023