Moving On” with Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda. Aaron Epstein/Roadside Attractions

Hollywood has always smelled money in teams, am I wrong? Who can blame them? The list of Gold Teams is endless. We remember Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, Hope and Crosby, Judy and Mickey, Roy Rogers and Trigger, and then Jane came along and Tarzan dropped Cheeta, just when we kids loved them.

The trend seems to be fading now and behold, we’re struggling with the unlikely paring of comedian Lily Tomlin and … wait …. Jane Fonda? Where have you been?

Yes, Tomlin and Fonda appear to have something going.

Both carry with them scents of nostalgia, Tomlin from “Laugh In,” Fonda with Vietnam and everything.

They started with “9 to 5” and grew with talk show appearances and recently “80 for Brady,” which is looking frayed at the edges.

And now, out of the blue with little promo, we get the magic couple in “Moving On.” Well, here it is, Paul Weitz’s grand old ladies struggling with dementia and revenge. Place your bets.


I’m guessing that Weitz thought it was a sure winner, and puts all his chips on teaming up with the magic couple of several decades.

It begins with Claire (Fonda) arriving in L.A. from her Ohio home, to attend the funeral of her college roommate Joyce. It’s a nice idea, happens all the time.

But our Claire (Fonda in a wash-and-dry hairdo and faux Audrey Hepburn eyebrows) has more in her baggage than mourning clothes.

We segue to a chapel as Howard (Malcolm McDowell, “A Clockwork Orange”) eulogizes his deceased wife Joyce, and Evelyn (Tomlin) arrives comedically and mistakenly makes her big brassy entrance from behind the parlor’s curtains.

Claire goes to the reception afterward and whispers to the widower, “I’m gonna kill you, Howard.” Then she goes to the kitchen and steals a machete-sized carving knife and tries to make her way through the mourners without anyone asking.

Cooler servants’ hands retake the knife, and Claire departs without killing Howard. Stay tuned, this ain’t over.


As she drives away, she spots Evelyn.

“Get in, we need to talk,” she shouts.

“Did you bribe the instructor?”

“I’m going to kill Howard.”

A pause.

“I can chat.”


Many years ago, 20 I believe, Howard, we learn, cheated on the deceased by seducing a friend, and got away with it.

Claire and Evelyn knew it and kept silent for 20 years, but now Evelyn, way past her menopause, is determined to have revenge and enlists a reluctant but bored Evelyn.

It’s all confusing, I know, much of it is, but the fun stuff starts now.

“What’s the plan?” Evelyn groans.

They go to a gun shop for “defense” pistols, where they are faced with strict regulations, so the owner offers a flare gun. They accept a flare gun?

Before we get to the conclusion, Claire runs into her ex-husband Richard Roundtree (“Shaft”) who charms her back into bed.


“Do we need protection?” She asks.

So “Shaft” beds “Barbarella” and Lily, as an aged cellist, walks away with the picture.

Stay tuned for traffic accidents …

“Moving On” opened at Maine Film Center in Waterville on March 17.

J.P. Devine of Waterville is a former stage and screen actor.

Comments are not available on this story.