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Moment by Moment

What seemed like inspired casting on paper, the teaming of John Travolta and Lily Tomlin, fails badly in execution.

What seemed like inspired casting on paper, the teaming of John Travolta and Lily Tomlin, fails badly in execution.

The lion’s share of the blame must go to writer-director (and long-time Tomlin collaborator) Jane Wagner, who concocted this improbable story of a Beverly Hills chic housewife whose marriage has gone sour, and who meets up with an insecure young drifter, with whom she has an affair.

Insouciant and likable from the outset, Travolta pursues the distant Tomlin like a determined puppy dog # once he latches on, she can’t shake him loose. The first half hour of the pic, with this unusual courtship, is appealing, and only makes what follows more of a letdown.

Approaching Trisha as if she was one of her stable theatrical creations, Tomlin never varies her nasal monotone, nor her imperturbable exterior. It’s a one-note performance that frustrates the entire picture.

Not helping matters is Wagner’s banal script, which has cliche piled atop cliche, and dialog that evokes embarrassing laughter.

Moment by Moment

  • Production: Universal. Director Jane Wagner; Producer Robert Stigwood; Screenplay Jane Wagner; Camera Philip Lathrop; Editor John F. Burnett; Music Lee Holdridge; Art Director Harry Horner
  • Crew: (Color) Extract of a review from 1978. Running time: 105 MIN.
  • With: Lily Tomlin John Travolta Andra Akers Bert Kramer Shelley R. Bonus Debra Feuer
  • Music By: