‘Fly Me to the Moon’ Delivers a Seriously Silly Rom-Com

Sucker punches aside, frothy space race saga delivers old-school pleasures

“Fly Me to the Moon” hijacks the mother of all conspiracy theories for our rom-com age.

The ’60s-era film follows a love story entangled in a fake moon landing scheme.

Sound silly? It is until it isn’t. And then it is again.

“Fly Me to the Moon” offers some retro charm, two appealing leads and a rom-com structure that won’t make your eyes roll. That’s increasingly rare of late. You’ll have to swallow the film’s meandering tone to soak in its old-school pleasures.

FLY ME TO THE MOON – Final Trailer (HD)

Scarlett Johansson stars as Kelly Jones, a marketing whiz tasked with making NASA both hip and worthy of government cash. The Space Race is on, but not every politician is eager to steer enough greenbacks to emerge victorious.

Leave it to Kelly, whose beauty and guile reduce grown men to quivering puddles.

Cole Davis (Channing Tatum) is an exception. 

Sure, they have a meet-cute moment early in the film, but as NASA’s launch director, he doesn’t like how Kelly bends the truth to get things done. Little does he know she’ll do more than bend it soon enough.

She’s coerced into staging a faux moon landing by a mysterious operator (Woody Harrelson, having a blast) just in case the actual mission fizzles.

Will Cole and co. deposit a man on the moon? Can Kelly convince enough bureaucrats to pick up the tab? How often will the film take pot shots at President Richard M. Nixon, whose Watergate chicanery is still years away?

Very often, to answer the latter question. The film also mocks people of faith, another sign you’re watching a 21st-century production.

Otherwise, “Moon” delivers a more thoughtful brand of rom-com. Yes, you’ll laugh, mostly thanks to sly supporting turns by Harrelson and Ray Romano. The latter plays a NASA veteran who has more on the line than mere hubris.


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The unabashed scene stealer? Jim Rash plays a fey director tasked with making the faux landing come to life. Yes, he’s a walking, whining cliche but Rash makes him marvelous anyway.

The production values are spotless, recreating the look and feel of the late 1960s without shoving it in our faces. Johansson reminds us how versatile she can be, flitting from sober marketing guru to someone melting over Cole’s moral code.

Tatum doesn’t have to stretch as much. He’s the sober spokesman for science, although his equilibrium gets wobbly whenever Kelly enters the frame.

“Moon” boasts a zippy appeal straight out of a ’50s rom-com, but there’s way too much story in play. The film blows past the two-hour mark when a tighter running time would be a better fit. Did Rock and Doris ever hang around that long?

We’re exhausted by the end, and the “will-they-or-won’t-they” element of the story becomes an afterthought.

You half expect “Moon” to say something profound, or profoundly obvious about modern conspiracy theories. That would have broken the spell Johansson and Tatum try so hard to evoke. One sequence finds Cole defending “science,” and it’s hard not to imagine Dr. Anthony Fauci demanding a crooked closeup.

The focus returns to the overblown plot in play, and we’re back in the 1960s. “Moon” lands exactly where it should when it remembers the period in question.

HiT or Miss: “Fly Me to the Moon” offers a throwback romantic comedy that, sadly, overstays its welcome.


  1. “false moon landing”. I’ve known people who believed the moon landing was faked. Unfortunately, this is just another conspiracy theory, why would anyone pay money to indulge in just another conspiracy theory?

    1. The movie is in on the joke … it’s part of the larger story that, if the real moon landing fails, they can pretend we still beat the Russians to the moon. If the review isn’t clear I apologize.

  2. Tempted to try this one in the theater, but it’s downright disheartening to hear that yet another film indulges Fauci-like preaching when we’ve all been harmed by the relentless PC police and gaslighters. I even skipped a Waltons episode with my daughter the other day because the description sounded like the usual Christian demonization. This is nothing new, at all (and even many years ago in grad school, my professor told me my short story was “highly publishable,” but that I needed to change some dialogue for one pregnant character who refers to her developing child as “the baby;” saying that the woman needed to say “the fetus–” when I asked why, he said, “Because we need to be politically correct now, or we won’t get published. I said, “But, nobody would say that,” and he said that “due to the abortion issue,” I would have to change it). Christian artists need to support works outside of Wokeonian Hollywood.

  3. Fake pretend Christian who beyond ALL DOUBT has not had the salvational experience of receiving the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues (Acts 2:4, John 7:38-39, John 3:8) after being baptized properly in JESUS NAME (Acts 2: 38, Acts 4:12, Acts 10:44-48, Acts 19:1-6) TWO THINGS THAT I KNOW HE HAS NOT DONE, advocates move that MOCKS PEOPLE OF FAITH.. Jesus warned us of “christians’ like this folks.

    2 PETER 2
    2 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

    2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

    3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.


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