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Moment by Moment

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Moment by Moment is a 1978 drama-romance film directed by Jane Wagner and produced by Robert Stigwood. Boasting a star-studded cast led by Lily Tomlin and John Travolta, supported by Andra Akers, the film paints a vivid picture of the contrasting worlds of its two main characters.

Lily Tomlin stars as Trisha Rawlings, a wealthy woman from Bel Air living in an emotionally empty existence. Disjointed from her socialite lifestyle, the high society world she has immersed herself in leaves her feeling hollow, and her passionless marriage has left her yearning for something more in her life. This depth of character provides Tomlin with an opportunity to demonstrate her talent as a dramatic actress, seamlessly transitioning from her usual comedic roles.

Opposite Tomlin, John Travolta stars as Strip Harrison, a free-spirited young man, with a touch of mystery. Travolta, coming off the success of "Saturday Night Fever" a year before, ventures into new territory as he explores the complexities of a character quite different from his often carefree and energetic roles. Strip is a drifter who lives moment by moment, where his life revolves around chance and spontaneity, pushing forward despite the uncertainty hanging over his life's direction.

The paths of Trisha and Strip cross when a chance meeting outside a pharmacy sets into motion an unconventional love story. The pair are from vastly different backgrounds and belong to radically different sides of the social spectrum. Yet, they are both drawn to each other in a way that is unpredictable, engaging, and often poignant.

As their relationship develops, the movie, set against the backdrop of southern California, dives into their emotional journeys, exploring themes of love, authenticity, and societal expectations. Both characters grapple with their personal demons, quirks, and social pressures. Yet, they find solace and support in each other’s company, each one helping the other reveal the courage to step outside of their respective comfort zones and challenge the status quo.

Andra Akers also plays a pivotal role as Trisha's friend, offering a different perspective on the dynamics of Trisha and Strip's relationship. Her role adds depth and substance to the movie, providing an essential commentary on the societal norms that weigh heavily on the characters.

Director Jane Wagner, in her directorial debut, challenges the conventional Hollywood narrative of relationships and highlights the unpredictable and often messy nature of authentic connections. The direction and cinematography paint a picture of the genuine essence of human relationships, with a considered sense of timing, emotion, and story development.

The movie's score, by Lee Holdridge, is reminiscent of its time but is instrumental in setting the overall tone and emotional context of the movie. With its soothing melodies and the occasional disco beat, it is successful in enhancing the sentimental depth of the plot.

Overall, Moment by Moment raises pressing questions about love, life, and self-identity, provoking the viewer into questioning societal expectations and the true meaning of happiness. The film is not just a romantic drama but a commentary on the barriers of class, status, and societal norms.

In conclusion, Moment by Moment is a heartfelt exploration of unexpected love, societal pressures, and personal transformation. The remarkable chemistry between John Travolta and Lily Tomlin, coupled with strong performances, engaging narrative, and brilliant directorial execution, makes this movie a significant piece in the realm of 1970s drama-romance cinema.

Moment by Moment is a Drama, Romance movie released in 1978. It has a runtime of 104 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it mostly poor reviews, with an IMDb score of 3.1..

Jane Wagner
John Travolta, Lily Tomlin
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