Across The Moon

  • 1995
  • Movie
  • R
  • Comedy, Drama, Prison

Sometimes a ramshackle flick has everything going against it but still succeeds to a degree. Sabotaged by a script that stretches implausibility beyond breaking-point, ACROSS THE MOON rebounds due to the love-hate relationship of a female odd couple and sparkling performances of the lead actresses. Barrio survivor Carmen (Elizabeth Pena) and spoiled Beverly...read more

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Sometimes a ramshackle flick has everything going against it but still succeeds to a degree. Sabotaged by a script that stretches implausibility beyond breaking-point, ACROSS THE MOON rebounds due to the love-hate relationship of a female odd couple and sparkling performances of the lead

actresses.

Barrio survivor Carmen (Elizabeth Pena) and spoiled Beverly Hills refugee Kathy (Christina Applegate) meet under strained circumstances; Carmen's old man Richie (Tony Fields) and Kathy's main squeeze Lyle (Peter Berg) are netted by a police drug sting. Their bumbling boyfriends behind bars, the

antagonistic women sojourn closer to the desert-area penitentiary to set up housekeeping, along with Carmen's son Paco (Michael Aniel Nundra), in a rickety trailer owned by Lyle's scumbag lawyer Roy (Richard Portnow). Scrambling to make ends met, the two fumble a madcap whirl at prostitution

before a volunteer fireman Jim (James Remar) points them toward gainful employment in bartending and supermarket checkouts. Meanwhile, truant Paco befriends down-on-his-luck Frank (Michael McKean) a former movie-animal trainer eking out a meager existence with his menagerie. As Carmen's fidelity

to Richie melts under Jim's manly gaze, Kathy solidifies her bond by marrying Lyle in jail despite a later foul-up in conjugal visitation rights. An eccentric dying prospector (Burgess Meredith) wills Paco the map to his claim, but hot-tempered Jim wrecks the gold mine's landmark when he

deliberately blows up an area frequented by hated tourists' all-terrain vehicles. Then lion-tamer Frank murders a cattle rancher (ERASERHEAD's Jack Nance) in a dispute over livestock Frank stole to feed his starving big cats. Abiding as ever, Kathy and Carmen visit their criminal lovers in a

prison that now holds Roy the shyster, Frank the former movie-animal-star manager, and Jim the anti-ATV terrorist.

The point behind this female-directed production is that women must endlessly clean up the messes left by their lesser halves. While it's no stretch to swallow the proposition that many men spend their adult years in second childhood, this fanciful examination of that immaturity is artificial and

more affected than effective. Out of what delirious imagination do the crotchety prospector and the homicidally-protective trainer spring? They aren't real people but cutesey concoctions to fluff up the material with unconvincing quirkiness. During the least contrived moments, ACROSS THE MOON is

most engaging. There's enough outre appeal in the central relationship of a former Vida Loca girl and Rodeo Drive brat. Despite a screenplay that sugarcoats the pall under which inmates and their loved ones persevere, the viewer remains a willing ringside spectator at the sparring of the women

from different worlds. Applegate, typed on TV by her role as a scatterbrain/slut in the sitcom "Married--With Children," gets the chance to exhibit some range. Even juicier is Pena's succulent bitchy dialogue, and she makes her frustration over fatherless Paco's delinquency seem gut-wrenchingly

real. Pena and Applegate enable us to overlook this film's sunstroked whimsy, and laugh and cry along with these women-without-men. In a movie that sometimes mainlines adorableness, that is no mean achievement. (Violence, extreme profanity, nudity, substance abuse, sexual situations, adultsituations.)

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  • Released: 1995
  • Rating: R
  • Review: Sometimes a ramshackle flick has everything going against it but still succeeds to a degree. Sabotaged by a script that stretches implausibility beyond breaking-point, ACROSS THE MOON rebounds due to the love-hate relationship of a female odd couple and sp… (more)

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