#SheReviews: Fly Me to The Moon – Michelle Beesley

July 10, 2024

I was five when man landed on the moon, and it is a moment I will never forget. The world stopped as everyone crowded around their television sets to watch the grainy footage being transmitted back to earth. This one event changed our world and ushered us into the age of science, technology and consumerism. 

In the comedy drama film ‘Fly Me to The Moon’ we meet some of the people behind the mission and are presented with an alternate story, weaving fact and fiction, to create an entertaining film which is cinematically beautiful. It’s the story of the media program put in place to fine tune the public image of the Apollo 11 team and their mission. Most of the film, directed by Greg Berlanti, centres on the lead up to this world changing event. 

You will be in awe at the size of the space facility and the myriads of people employed to ensure this mission was successful. The scenes filmed in the Mission Control centre gave me goosebumps. NASA was involved in the making of the film and gave their support to the project which is why many of the location scenes are so beautifully accurate. 

We meet the feisty New York advertising guru, Kelly Jones (Scarlett Johansson) who is summoned by the White House to put the government’s spin on the flight and sell it to the public. The moon landing was an advertiser’s dream (think Omega and Tang) with brands lining up to say their product was endorsed by astronauts. Kelly is never one to let a lie get in the way of a good story and we first meet her wearing a fake pregnancy suit to sell a car campaign.

Heading to Cape Canaveral, Kelly is handled by the mysterious but charming, Moe, in a role relished by Woody Harrelson. Kelly’s charm and good looks opens doors, and she soon meets the staid launch director, Cole Davis (Channing Tatum). Cole is instantly smitten but with a much more important job at hand, must fight his growing attraction to this exasperating and sassy woman. 

Kelly creates havoc wherever she goes and will simply not take ‘no’ as an answer. This makes Cole’s mission even more difficult. Giving insight into Cole’s character is his best friend and mentor, Henry Smalls, in a nice departure for Ray Romano. 

As Kelly and Cole’s romance blossoms, she becomes increasingly uncomfortable about some of the things she is asked to do. She is tasked with filming a fake moon landing… just in case. This strand of the story gives a nod to the conspiracy theory that Stanley Kubrick directed a moon landing movie. The director here is the colourful and flamboyant Lance Vespertine (Jim Rash).

You would think with Cole’s morals that he would not be able to forgive Kelly, but the chemistry between these two stars made the story and romance believable. Scarlett is breathtaking but real in every scene and it was good to see Channing Tatum in a little more serious role which stretched his range. They reminded me of the great movie stars of yesteryear with the witty banter and one liners which could easily be from a 1950’s rom com. I don’t think there could be a more swoonworthy couple since Doris Day and Rock Hudson or Grace Kelly and Cary Grant. 

I loved the colourful costumes which were spot on for the era and the melding of real footage into the story. This film is stylish. With its mix of historical fiction, drama, romance and comedy this one is sure to make you smile. For those younger than me it shares the sense of wonder in mankind’s great achievement. 

‘Fly Me to The Moon’ is a terrific film for all ages, documenting in a lighthearted way this stellar event. My husband loved the science and flight aspects whilst I loved the romance and fashion. It’s a win – win for your next date night. So, get ready to blast off! This film is playing in Australian cinemas from July 11.

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