The only thing they have in common… is each other. Hot on the heels of Saturday Night Fever and Grease, screen icon John Travolta (Blow Out) teamed up with the sensational Lily Tomlin (Nashville, 9 to 5) for the May/December love story Moment by Moment. Trisha Rawlings (Tomlin), a lonely, middle-aged Beverly Hills socialite, meets Vick “Strip” Harrison (Travolta), a suave young drifter. Their initial flirtation turns into a passionate relationship despite their age and class differences. Tomlin’s longtime partner Jane Wagner (The Incredible Shrinking Woman) wrote and directed this superb romantic melodrama shot by ace cinematographer Philip H. Lathrop (They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?) and co-starring Bert Kramer (Bloody Birthday) and Debra Feuer (To Live and Die in L.A.).
As embodied by Alan Bates, Butley falls back on the surgically precise wit and savage eloquence that helped put him in his current circumstances in the first place. The blitzkrieg of vitriolic commentary with which Butley engages lovers, students, rivals, and allies, all with equal ferocity, becomes a glass bottom boat illuminating the churning depths of his bankrupted soul. Acclaimed playwright Harold Pinter, in what Time Magazine hailed as “a quite superior directorial debut,” turns author Simon Gray’s single-set, dialogue driven stage play into an irresistible dynamic visual experience that tracks Bates’ hilarious and fearless performance with cunning precision.
Bates and an expert supporting cast, including OscarÃ‚Â® winner Jessica Tandy (Driving Miss Daisy), joust with a sly, self-referencing wit and an unselfconscious exuberance that is breathtaking. With every verbal parry and valedictory flourish of wordplay, Butley’s life becomes more of an inescapable bear trap of thwarted ambition, clandestine affection, and squandered brilliance.