Written and directed by Paul Weitz, ‘Moving On’ is a black comedy that features the iconic ‘Grace and Frankie’ duo Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin and seamlessly mixes humor into a serious and tragic situation. The story is set at the funeral of a mutual friend of Claire’s (Jane Fonda) and Evelyn’s (Lily Tomlin). The two estranged friends show up at the funeral only for Claire to declare to the widower, Howard, that she plans on murdering him this weekend. Not long after, Evelyn joins Claire, and the two set out to scheme revenge against Howard for the harm he has done to them in the past.
Though the narrative may seem like the perfect setup for a revenge drama, the 2022 film takes a different approach and brings comedy into a grave situation. It utilizes dark humor and deadpan delivery of hilarious writing to tell a moving story. The movie is ultimately about facing the past while rekindling old relationships. However, due to its relatable and realistic elements, it may leave viewers wondering if the story has any roots in reality. If you’re wondering the same, here is everything we know about the origin of ‘Moving On!’
Is Moving On a True Story?
‘Moving On’ is not a true story. Paul Weitz is famously known for his work on movies like ‘American Pie’ and ‘About a Boy’ and has worked with Tomlin on two separate occasions. Somewhere around their second film together, ‘Grandma,’ Weitz met Fonda through Tomlin, and the duo eventually ended up asking him to write something for them. It was there that Weitz initially had the inclination to start working on this story.
In an interview, Weitz recalled how the first idea he got for this story was of Fonda’s character coming up to Malcolm McDowell’s character at his wife’s funeral and telling him straight-faced that she was planning on killing him and then worldlessly taking her departure from the conversation. It’s easy to see how the rest of the plot must have unfolded from there. The movie follows the humorous but heavy nature of that one scene.
As the plot progresses, the details of what happened between Howard and Claire are revealed to the audience. Years ago, Howard had sexually traumatized Claire. Although Claire had never told anyone about it, she was here to take revenge on him now. Unfortunately, many people would be able to relate to this part of Claire’s story and sympathize with her desire to exact revenge upon the man who had wronged her.
Though the story is comedic and light-hearted in most places, it treats this instance with the gravity that it deserves. Additionally, the story portrays reflections of reality and relatable experiences in other aspects as well. Claire and Evelyn used to be close friends but had drifted apart somewhere along the line. However, they eventually come together again and team up against their shared enemy.
Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin have worked together for years now, and their chemistry together is undeniably funny and entertaining. The same bleeds into their characters, and it’s easy to see years of affection and friendship between Claire and Evelyn. The premise of the movie is not completely outlandish and, therefore, not easily dismissible. The characters are well-crafted, and their dynamics feel relatable and almost something recognizable.
The theme of not being able to move on from a certain instance is not a foreign one to most people, and the same goes for the story’s subplots revolving around lost love and friendship. Therefore, although ‘Moving On’ is not based on a true story, it still is relatable and plausible enough to seem like one. It presents themes of friendship, love, and a haunting past in a realistic and sincere way. However, it still keeps things interesting by adding a layer of dark comedy and handing its protagonist a vindictive streak for murder.
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