Hollywood is notorious for catering to young Hollywood starlets and putting women out to pasture after 40. Well, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin are having none of that. They proved Hollywood wrong with seven seasons of their Netflix hit “Grace and Frankie, ” and these dolls show no signs of slowing down, which is evident in their latest film Moving On.
Giving a “grumpy old divas” vibe in the tradition of Matthau and Lemmon, Claire (Jane Fonda) and Evelyn (Lily Tomlin) are old college roommates who have reunited for the funeral of a dear friend. You know these ladies don’t waste any time showing up and out – we wouldn’t expect anything less. As Claire softly threatens “I’m going to kill you” to Howard, Evelyn makes an even bigger entrance drunk, yet comically interrupts Howard’s eulogy. This is only the tip of the iceberg.
Director and writer Paul Weitz leaves a lot of luggage to unpack. Evelyn’s neighbor has a grandson who is in the closet. Claire and Ralph (Richard Roundtree) have loose ends to tie up from their previous interracial marriage and most the characters, in general, have complicated relationships coupled with a inner turmoil making it near impossible to move on.
The plot drags on quite a bit for the first half of the film with the running gag of Claire and Evelyn figuring out how to team up to murder Howard only to have their plans thwarted by an accident. The last act is where picks up, but there’s a huge possibility you may tap out before then. Between the half hearted LGBTQ plot, impending murder and unsettled scores in a quasi underdeveloped #MeToo story line, it’s a lot to digest in a small period of time.
Listen, I love these ladies and have watched their work for decades. However, in my humble opinion, they deserve better than a half baked comedy. Having said that, these seasoned actresses are getting greater later and that’s all that really matters.