Fly Me To The Moon | Third Space
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Fly Me To The Moon

Did they fake the moon landing?
Fri 12 Jul 2024

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⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 1/2 (out of 5)

Neil Armstrong’s footprint on the moon left an imprint on humanity that has remained over the past 50 years since he first stepped out from Apollo 11 into the Sea of Tranquility. Yet, throughout these five decades, there has been a whisper of controversy that toys with the idea that this significant event was filmed on a soundstage as opposed to actually occurring. This is a debate that has had conspiracy theorists working overtime to prove that the work of space exploration has been a farce all along and that the world has been duped into believing.

Fly Me To The Moon addresses this dispute in a romantic comedy that addresses the possibilities of both the landing and the film happening. Director Greg Berlanti (Life as We Know It) takes history and weaves in plausible options, making this an entertaining tale of romance, laughs and the bending of the past. Beginning with marketing executive Kelly Jones (Scarlett Johansson) being recruited by the US government to put a positive spin on the struggling space program. This is a challenging task since the team at the centre of getting a man on the moon has little motivation to focus on public relations, especially the program’s director, Cole Davis (Channing Tatum). Yet, the pair must work together to salvage the decade-long work, keep the confidence of the American public and maintain the funding from the government. Their tensions lead to potential romantic sparks until Kelly is asked to film a backup option by faking the moon landing to ensure the world sees the landing on television. This decision will have ripple effects across the globe, and over time, it will significantly impact the budding relationship between Cole and Kelly.

Unlike The Right Stuff, First Man or Apollo 13, this depiction of the days of the space race manages to deliver a comedic side to these historical events while humanising the army of white shirt/black tie NASA engineers. Johansson and Tutum deliver the romantic colour needed to make a familiar and controversial tale into an entertaining voyage into space. They will make you fall in love with the film and yearn for their characters to come together in the end. Each situation and character turns into a lesson in marketing and persistence that shows how every aspect of this world needs someone to get into the minds and hearts of the public. Yet, having those who get the actual work done in the background ensures that these massive projects' goals are achieved. Think of this as a softer side of the Mad Men effect that proves how advertising operates in the grey morality of people’s consciences.

For all who firmly believe in the fake moon landing, Fly Me To The Moon may diffuse some arguments or fuel even more controversy. Still, since this film is based on fictitious characters within the space program, this film is not meant to prove anything except that audiences are looking for a fun option to be entertained. The plausibility of Rose Gilroy’s screenplay is more fun than reality, but having this scheme within the story's arc adds the spice needed to make this movie endearing and hilarious. Jim Rash, Ray Romano, and Woody Harrelson steal every scene they are given and deliver the comedic weight to this overall story. Are these events plausible? Maybe, but the reality is that the consideration is more of an entertaining cinematic experience than actual history-making.

Fly Me To The Moon sits in that sweet spot missing from movie theatres over the years. Anyone could enjoy romance and comedy on a date night as they hope to escape to the stars for a while, laugh along the way and even think romantically about this time in human history.

REEL DIALOGUE: Flexible morality

When considering the moral dilemma that the US government puts Kelly Jones into, it is worth contemplating how you would respond to this situation. How are people supposed to react in conditions similar to this one?

An excellent place to begin is to look at the words of the Bible, specifically Acts 5:27-29, “And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them, saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man's blood upon us.” But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. Peter and the other apostles replied: ‘We must obey God rather than men!’”

These passages open the door to discussing how we respond to ‘the law of the land.’ If the law of the land does not contradict the law of God, we are to obey the laws established by our culture. When these laws reject God’s commands, we can consider contradicting this law and following God’s law. Before engaging in illegal activity, these decisions need to be weighed against the potential consequences it may lead to and how it will impact the testimony of those who choose to break the law.

If you continue to read Acts 5, Peter and John did break the law but were still willing to accept the government’s authority. The result was temporarily painful but caused praise and celebration in these men. Following God’s law does not mean the elimination of difficulties but awareness and peace in following God instead of man's ways.

If you enjoy discussing the film's themes, contact our team at Third Space. We can start the conversation and connect you with those who can help you find the answer.

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