Fly Me to the Moon

Fly Me to the Moon
Original title:Fly Me to the Moon
Director:Greg Berlanti
Running time:132 minutes
Release date:12 july 2024
Charged with revitalizing NASA's public image, sparkling marketing expert Kelly Jones disrupts the already complex task of mission director Cole Davis. When the White House decides the project is too important to fail, Kelly Jones is tasked with staging a fake moon landing as Plan B, and the countdown is on...

Mulder's Review

Fly Me to the Moon, directed by Greg Berlanti and written by Rose Gilroy, is a refreshingly innovative romantic comedy that takes a whimsical turn on the events surrounding the Apollo 11 moon landing. The cast includes Scarlett Johansson as Kelly Jones, a savvy advertising executive, and Channing Tatum as Cole Davis, a dedicated NASA launch director. Set in 1969, the film deftly combines humor, romance and a pinch of historical revisionism, creating a captivating cinematic experience that delights more often than it disappoints.

From the outset, Fly Me to the Moon captures the audience's attention with its vibrant depiction of the late 1960s. The meticulous production design and period-accurate costumes transport viewers to an era filled with optimism and ambition. Scarlett Johansson's character, Kelly jones, is portrayed as a quick-witted marketing guru with a penchant for unconventional tactics, such as faking a pregnancy to convince skeptical car executives. His performance is electric, effortlessly blending charm, wit and a touch of vulnerability.

Kelly Jones' career takes a decisive turn when she is recruited by the enigmatic Moe Berkus, played with sly charm by Woody Harrelson, to lead a public relations campaign for NASA. Her mission: to rekindle the American public's interest in the space program in the run-up to the Apollo 11 mission. This setup provides fertile ground for both comic and romantic sparks, especially when Kelly's path crosses that of Cole Davis, NASA's stoic, principled launch director.

The chemistry between Scarlett Johansson and Channing Tatum is undeniable. Their early interactions are marked by playful antagonism, as Kelly's flamboyant marketing strategies clash with Cole's callous approach to space exploration. Their meeting in a Florida restaurant, during which a fire breaks out, sets the stage for a relationship that evolves from mutual irritation to mutual respect and, ultimately, romantic interest. Tatum's portrayal of Cole, at first rigid, gradually reveals layers of sincerity and vulnerability, particularly as he grapples with the guilt of the Apollo 1 disaster.

One of the film's strengths lies in its ability to balance humor and heartfelt moments. Kelly's attempts to sell the moon involve a series of entertaining ploys, including tie-ins with brands such as Tang and Omega watches. These antics, though exaggerated, are rooted in the historical context of the 1960s, a time when marketing played an important role in public perception. The film's humor is further enhanced by an excellent cast, including Ray Romano as the endearing NASA engineer Henry Smalls and Jim Rash as the pompous director Lance Vespertine, 
who has been hired to film the emergency moon landing.

The exploration of the moon landing conspiracy theory is treated with levity, adding an extra layer of intrigue without lapsing into cynicism. The idea of faking the moon landing serves as a backdrop to Kelly Jones' internal conflict. As she becomes more invested in the mission and in her relationship with Cole Davis, she must confront the moral complexities of her role. Johansson excels in these moments, conveying Kelly Jones' struggle between her professional duties and her personal ethics.

Fly Me to the Moon shines in its depiction of 1960s aesthetics, from chic fashion to sleek settings. The film's visual appeal is complemented by a rousing soundtrack that captures the spirit of the era. The attention to detail extends to the depiction of NASA operations, which benefits from the involvement of NASA consultants. Scenes set in the control room and the assembly of the Apollo spacecraft are described with a level of authenticity that adds depth to the narrative.

Although the film sometimes hesitates to change tone, it manages to keep the story cohesive. The transition between light comedy and dramatic moments, particularly concerning Cole Davis' haunted past and Kelly Jones' ethical dilemmas, is handled with care. The most spectacular scenes, which mix the real and fake moon landings, are executed with a mix of suspense and intelligence that keeps the audience's attention.

Ultimately, Fly Me to the Moon is a delightful romantic comedy that doesn't just make you laugh. It's a tribute to the spirit of innovation and determination that defined the era of the space race. Greg Berlanti's direction, combined with Rose Gilroy's witty screenplay and charismatic performances by Scarlett Johansson and Channing Tatum, results in a film that is both entertaining and thought-provoking. The film captures the essence of a bygone era while offering a fresh, modern take on love and ambition.

With its blend of humor, romance and historical intrigue, Fly Me to the Moon wins our hearts. It's a film that celebrates the audacity of dreaming big, whether in matters of the heart or the vast expanses of space. As the relationship between Kelly Jones and Cole Davis develops against the backdrop of one of mankind's greatest achievements, the film reminds us that sometimes the most extraordinary journeys begin with a single, unexpected step.

Fly Me to the Moon
Directed by Greg Berlanti
Written by Rose Gilroy
Story by Bill Kirstein, Keenan Flynn
Produced by Scarlett Johansson, Jonathan Lia, Keenan Flynn, Sarah Schechter
Starring Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum, Jim Rash, Anna Garcia, Donald Elise Watkins, Noah Robbins, Colin Woodell, Christian Zuber, Nick Dillenburg, Ray Romano, Woody Harrelson
Cinematography : Dariusz Wolski
Edited by Harry Jierjian
Music by Daniel Pemberton
Production companies : Apple Studios, Berlanti-Schechter Films, These Pictures
Distributed by Columbia Pictures (through Sony Pictures Releasing) (United States)
Release date: July 10, 2024 (France) July 12, 2024 (United States)
Running time : 132 minutes

Seen on July 10, 2024 at Gaumont Disney Village, Room 12 seat A19

Mulder's Mark: