Mike Kueber's Blog

June 21, 2012

Saturday Night at the Movies #34 – A Walk on the Moon

Filed under: Movie reviews — Mike Kueber @ 2:25 am
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A Walk on the Moon is a 1999 drama set in 1969 New York.  The title is taken from an important scene during which the movie’s hero, Liev Schreiber, is cuckolded by his bored wife, Diane Lane, and a traveling blouse salesman, Viggo Mortensen, in the back of the salesman’s van while the rest of America is watching Neil Armstrong utter, “The Eagle has landed,” and “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” 

Another historical backdrop in the movie is the Woodstock Festival, which is taking place near the cottage where the movie’s starring couple is staying for the summer.  That is the first of numerous plot developments that don’t make sense.  Schreiber/Lane are supposed to be a lower middle-class couple from NYC, where Schreiber works as a TV repairman, yet the family is able spend the summer in a bungalow at a resort, with Schreiber spending the workweek back in NYC while Lane and their two kids remain at the resort. 

The most serious flaw in the movie is its failure to explain why Diane Lane would cuckold her fine husband and risk their marriage just to have a fling with Viggo Mortensen.  Her conduct is incredibly irresponsible for an otherwise prototypical American housewife. 

Although “middle-age crazy” is not the sole province of men, women usually need extenuating circumstances to indulge.  For example, in the Bridges of Madison County, Meryl Steep was an achingly poetic woman married to a dreadfully prosaic man when she encountered her soulmate, Clint Eastwood.  In A Walk on the Moon, Diane Lane is no Meryl Streep and Viggo Mortensen is no Clint Eastwood.  And Liev Schreiber is every bit as interesting as either of the cuckolds. 

Although A Walk on the Moon is #9 on Entertainment Weekly’s list of the 50 sexiest movies ever, I didn’t think the sex scenes between Lane and Mortensen were especially moving.  In fact, I thought Diane Lane’s other middle-age crazy movie, Unfaithful with Richard Gere, was ten times sexier.        

Rotten Tomatoes critics gave A Walk on the Moon a 72% score while its audience rated it 67%.  Although I thought the movie was clunky at times (directed by Tony Goldwyn, the villain Carl Bruner in Ghost), it was also thought-provoking, so I give it three and a half stars out of four.


1 Comment »

  1. […] recently reviewed the movie A Walk on the Moon and gave it a high score because it was thought-provoking.    That […]

    Pingback by Further comments on Movie #34 and Book #78 « Mike Kueber's Blog — June 22, 2012 @ 12:42 am | Reply

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