Click here to listen to the interview.
Paul Weitz, who directed Lily Tomlin in the criminally underappreciated GRANDMA a few years back, was delighted to be invited by her and her Grace & Frankie co-star, Jane Fonda, to write a script for them. The result is MOVING ON, a deeply human black comedy about revenge, loose ends, and plotting a murder with an old friend. Tomlin plays Evvie, who runs into her old college pal, Claire, played by Fonda, at the funeral of a mutual friend from those matriculating days. It’s also where Claire has told Howard, the widower, that she is going to murder him sometime that weekend.
Why she made that threat, and how that reason has shaped her life over the last 45 years, is revealed as Evvie and Claire catch up on the last few decades and, using bacon as a key element, set about making good on Claire’s threat. Complicating matters, Claire’s old flame in the person of Ralph (Richard Roundtree) who, without knowing Claire’s plans, offers her a reason to rethink not just the murder, but how she might, ahem, move on from past traumas.
When I spoke to Weitz via Zoom on March 14, 2023, I wanted to know what it was like handing over his script to such icons. We went on to talk about writing and directing a comedy about people in pain, overthinking (on my part) the first image that had popped into Weitz’s head when he got that call from Tomlin, and one of Fonda’s wardrobe choices.
It wasn’t the first time I’d interviewed the filmmaker. My interview with him and Tomlin for GRANDMA is here, and our conversation about the Robert De Niro film, BEING FLYNN, is here. Weitz’s previous work includes ABOUT A BOY with brother Chris, and MOZART IN THE JUNGLE with MOVING ON co-star McDowell.