“Fly Me To The Moon” stars Scarlett Johansson as Kelly Jones, a marketing whiz who is brought into NASA to be the publicist for the Apollo program. Channing Tatum plays Cole Davis, Launch Director at Cape Kennedy (as it was still called in the late sixties). He’s publicity shy and wants nothing to do with Kelly.

In other words, they’re going to end up a couple. You can tell because whenever she suggests something, he says no way, but then it happens. Just like when she says she’ll never get in his plane. Of course she will.

Woody Harrelson plays Moe Berkus, a black hat working for President Richard Nixon who wants to make sure that the USA beats the USSR to the moon, no matter what. To ensure that, he forces Kelly to prepare a fake moon landing, complete with actors playing Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, which can be shown to the world if something goes wrong with the mission.

That idea a lot like the premise of the 1977 movie, “Capricorn One,” in which a major technical problem led NASA to try to fake the first human mission to Mars (from a studio in St. Louis, btw). Its cast was like a roll call of 1970s movie regulars: Sam Waterston, James Brolin, OJ Simpson (yep!), Elliott Gould (as a reporter who thinks there’s something hinky going on), Brenda Vaccaro, Karen Black, Hal Holbrook, Telly Savalas, David Huddleston, David Doyle, Denise Nicholas, Robert Walden, James B. Sikking, and James Karen. It was kinda cheesy, but still fun — and is currently streaming on Prime Video.

Unlike “Capricorn One,” “Fly Me To The Moon” is played for laughs — there are a few — but depends even more on the chemistry between Johansson and Tatum, each of whom qualify for any list of The Most Attractive Human Beings On Earth. ScarJo wears all sorts of colorful faux-sixties fashions, while ChanTate (I know that’s not a thing) shows up for work at Cape Kennedy in tight crew necks and polo shirts.

There’s no chance the guy who actually did that job, Rocco Petrone (for whom the Launch Control Center is now named) ever set foot in a NASA facility in anything but a dark suit with a white shirt and thin tie. Of course, he didn’t have Tatum’s physique (see for yourself).

The supporting cast includes Ray Romano, who gets a couple of mildly amusing self-deprecating lines, but considering what a good actor he’s become over the last decade, it’s disappointing he wasn’t put to better use. I was even more disheartened by Jim Rash as the director Kelly hires to stage the fake lunar landing. Rash plays him as an offensively over-the-top stereotypically gay man, complete with limp wrist.

I don’t know if that’s Rash’s fault or the blame lies with director Greg Berlanti, better known as Mister CW as the showrunner of several series on that network, including “The Flash,” “Supergirl,” and “Riverdale.” Here he overuses shots of NASA facilities like the gigantic Vehicle Assembly Building, fetishizes the sports cars of the era, and overdoes a running joke about a black cat that keeps passing Tatum’s path and reeks of cheap foreshadowing.

The whole fake-moon-landing plot line is undoubtedly going to stoke the conspiracy nuts who don’t believe NASA actually landed a dozen humans on the moon across six missions. That pisses me off, because I consider those to be among mankind’s greatest scientific achievements. Besides, I have interviewed some of the men who were part of them, including Gene Kranz, NASA’s Flight Director in Houston from the Mercury era through the Apollo program. He’s the one played by Ed Harris in “Apollo 13.” (listen to our conversation here).

“Fly Me To The Moon” is the first major motion picture by screenwriter Rose Gilroy, daughter of actress Rene Russo and director Dan Gilroy. Unfortunately, she over-wrote the screenplay, bogging it down with a couple of subplots, including one involving Kelly’s past.

And that’s not all.

There is also a ridiculous sequence involving Kelly and two NASA engineers rushing into town on the day of the launch to break into an appliance store, remove an electronics panel from it, and then race back so one of the guys can insert the panel into the Lunar Module seconds before takeoff. Because it’s so easy for anyone to gain access to the launch tower while the countdown is in progress. The whole scenario is even less likely than Tatum’s tight shirts.

But since Berlanti was the director, the blame arrow has to point back at him for allowing the film to become bloated to a run time of 2:12, which is way too long for such a lightweight product.

This movie was originally going straight to streaming on Apple TV+, and it will eventually get there, but Apple decided to first release it theatrically for a few weeks, beginning tonight.

Unfortunately, there were more things wrong than right with “Fly Me To The Moon.” Think of it as one sideways step for a romcom, but no giant leap for anyone.

I’m giving it a rating of 4.5 out of 10.

Note: if you’re going to see it, try to spot the cameo by “SNL” Weekend Update anchor Colin Jost, who just happens to be Johansson’s real-life husband.