Forgotten favourites – A Walk on the Moon

Posted on 24 September 2020
By Dana Andersen
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It’s no secret that the 90’s were the ultimate time for a cheesy romance film. Half of them followed the same tropes and cliches, and the other half tried so hard not to, that they brushed the edge of becoming their own satire.

Every so often though, a movie can do everything right, only to be forgotten about anyway.

One of these movies is 1999’s A Walk on the Moon, Tony Goldwyn’s directorial debut.

Although released in the final year of the 90’s, the movie was set in 1969’s summer of love, and that is exactly what we get.

Pearl, played by Diane Lane, is another disenfranchised 60’s housewife.

She had kids too young, with a guy she doesn’t feel particularly close to anymore, and she’s having to deal with that being her life.

That is, until the family go on their annual summer retreat.

Marty, Pearl’s husband, has to stay home during the week for work as a TV repair man, visiting them on the weekends for some family time, and fixing up TV’s ready for everyone to watch the moon landing.

While he’s away, the blouse man, who sells womens clothing and accessories out of a van, begins chatting to Pearl and the chemistry between the two soon becomes obvious.

The blouse man, or Walker, played by Viggo Mortensen, shows Pearl what a free spirited, hippy lifestyle can be like.

From here the movie takes an expected, but fantastic turn, as Pearl begins an affair with Walker.

There’s sex under waterfalls and in lakes, naked dancing at Woodstock, and Mortensen could melt anyones heart with his floppy hair, soft eyes, and deep voice.

More to the point though, its a movie that centres around a woman having an affair, without anyone being branded the bad guy.

Walker is just a fun loving, free loving kind of guy.

Pearl is just a woman who didn’t get the life she intended, doesn’t even know what life she wanted, and is struggling with what she has ended up with.

Marty understands why Pearl would stray, but loves her all the same, and is prepared to work on their relationship.

Even when the two men come face to face, after one of Marty and Pearls children is injured and helped by Walker, they greet each other with a sort of masculine understanding, that they’re both providing Pearl with something she needs and wants.

All good things must come to an end, and eventually Pearl realises that she loves her family, and by extension the life she has with them, more than she could ever love Walker and his free spirited way of living, touching on the fact that sometimes, you don’t actually want the thing you think you want.

In this case, Pearl has spent years thinking she just wants to be free, only to realise she’d much rather be with the family she created.

It’s a film full of bittersweet romance, tasting the forbidden fruit only to then realise you prefer the tinned peaches in the cupboard, and its not one that should be forgotten about.