Novelist Laurie Colwin once wrote: "The lovely thing about marriage is that life ambles on as if life were some meandering path lined with sturdy plain trees. A love affair is like a shot arrow. It gives life an intense direction, if only for an instant." That in a nutshell, is the theme of A Walk on the Moon, a beautifully acted drama about infidelity in the summer of 1969 when astronauts landed on the moon and the counterculture celebrated sexual liberation at Woodstock.
Pearl Kantrowitz (Diane Lane) is married to Marty (Liev Schreiber), a TV repairman. She had her first child when she was just a teenager. Now in her thirties, she feels "trapped by life." As they have done for many summers, Pearl and her two children stay at a Catskills resort while Marty works in the city. With her husband around only on weekends, Pearl begins an affair with Walker Jerome (Viggo Mortensen), a free-spirited traveling salesman. Meanwhile, her teenage daughter Alison (Anna Paquin) is coming of age sexually and rebelling against the rules and regulations laid out by her parents. Marty's intuitive mother (Tovah Feldshuh) senses that something is awry in her son's marriage and warns him that he must communicate with Pearl about her need for a change in her life.
The screenplay by Pamela Gray vividly conveys the passions and the vulnerabilities of all the characters as they respond to the cultural sea changes brought on by the "summer of love." Director Tony Goldwyn draws out top-notch performances from the entire cast. The hopeful finale shows that the marriages that last are those in which husband and wife are flexible enough to learn some new moves as their relationship ambles on.