A Walk on the Moon

Genre: Romance, Drama; Starring: Diane Lane, Viggo Mortensen, Anna Paquin, Liev Schreiber, Tovah Feldshuh, Julie Kavner; Director: Tony Goldwyn; MPAA Rating: R

To a certain Dockers population, there’s no quicker hot-wiring to emotion than through the music of Woodstock. Richie Havens, Jefferson Airplane… The soundtrack to Walk on the Moon, the directorial debut of actor Tony Goldwyn, has the power to move anyone old enough to remember the summer of 1969, or young enough to be the child of peace-and-love parents. This is a commercially calibrated, highly romanticized story of sexual awakening, poetically likened to the mystery and danger of Neil Armstrong’s lunar step that same year. And, at moments, it feels as authentic as a store-bought tie-dyed T-shirt.

Two generations take an embryonic journey in the thickly plotted story, set in a Catskills bungalow colony: A traditional, if restless, Jewish housewife (Diane Lane) falls for a handsome hippie (Viggo Mortensen), while her teenage daughter (Anna Paquin) enjoys her first boyfriend. The woman’s good, dull husband (Liev Schreiber) rails; the husband’s clucking, hovering mother (Tovah Feldshuh) sighs oy. There’s some artful sex, a few intriguing scenes of bungalow life. But oh, that Richie Havens and Jefferson Airplane. Who knows where the time goes? B-

Originally posted April 2 1999 — 12:00 AM EST

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