(director/writer: Paul Weitz; cinematographer: Tobias Datum; editor: Hilda Rasula; music: Paul Croteau/Patricia Jones/Amanda Delores; cast: Jane Fonda (Claire), Lily Tomlin (Evelyn), Malcolm McDowell (Howard), Lauren Tom (Ava), Catherine Dent (Molly), Sarah Burns (Allie), Richard Roundtree (Ralph); Runtime: 85; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Chris Parke/Dylan Sellers/Paul Weitz/Stephanie Meurer/Andrew Mano; Roadside Attractions; 2022)

“Though grounded in the appealing performances by Fonda and Tomlin, the slight film can become too sentimental and overbearing.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A lightweight and playful comedy directed and written by the often disappointing filmmaker Paul Weitz (“Fatherhood”/”Grandma”). It shows love for his stars but not enough darkness is served for his dark story. The message here is you can’t do things over but you can always ‘move on’ or repair broken relationships from the past.

The story-line deals with two estranged friends who reunite to settle a decades-old score.

The film’s stars
Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin are good friends in real-life and play well together on film. Their performances here as spunky seniors gives Moving On all the good vibes it needs despite it being a sub-par film. The Fonda and Tomlin characters deal with the problems of revenge, aging and maintaining friendships in their own uncanny ways.

We encounter
the estranged college roommates, the septuagenarians Claire (Jane Fonda) and, the sarcastic misanthropic retired cellist,  Evelyn, (Lily Tomlin), bitter because she’s now living in a home for those in need of assisted living, at the funeral in Southern California, for their once dear friend Howard (Malcolm McDowell), whose wife is being buried. Their separation is blamed on the overbearing widower. Now the unforgiving Claire wants revenge for all Howard’s past wrongs. She therefore partners with Evelyn to harm Howard. They scheme that if Evelyn can find a gun, Claire will pull the trigger. But trying to kill him is hard, as the desperate Claire when the gun scheme fails tries smothering him with a pillow and then tries to run him over with a car.

Meanwhile,  secrets are revealed about their lives, as Claire reunites with her first husband Ralph (Richard Roundtree).

Though grounded in the appealing performances by Fonda and Tomlin, the slight film can become too sentimental and overbearing.

REVIEWED ON 3/28/2023  GRADE: B-