Moonstruck

"Good"

Moonstruck Review


A good romantic comedy should be a balm for the soul. Moonstruck doesn't provide that. It's quaint and amusing and full of good performances. It's the kind of movie you can watch with your grandmother and enjoy. The movie is not without its charms. Too bad it doesn't just whisk you into a world of wonder -- it tries to keep you prisoner.

Moonstruck tells the story of Loretta (Cher, in her Academy Award-winning performance), a thirtysomething Brooklyn widow, who is apparently happy in her humdrum life. She lives with her parents, goes to work, and looks for nothing more. Life becomes too difficult when extremes enter the picture. Her fiancé, Johnny (Danny Aiello), fits her life model to a T, a supremely ordinary man in every way, including romance. Loretta has to practically walk him through his proposal, and she always kisses him first. For Loretta, that's fine. She loved her last husband and that caused her nothing but heartache. "When you love them, they drive you crazy," her mother explains.

Loretta soon finds this out firsthand, when Johnny -- visiting his mother in Italy -- asks her to invite his long-estranged brother, Ronnie (Nicolas Cage), to the wedding. Ronnie is everything his older brother isn't -- younger, sinewy, and brimming with passion. He's barely met Loretta when he exclaims his hatred for his sibling and reveals his own plans: "I want you to watch me kill myself, so you can tell my brother on his wedding day." What woman can say no to that?

Well, Loretta can't, who is drawn to Ronnie's passion and complex nature (he's a brute who loves opera). John Patrick Shanley's Oscar-winning script uses the Loretta/Ronnie plot as just one look at the crazy dynamics of love, with Loretta's family offering other viewpoints. Her father (Vincent Gardenia) starts an affair with a woman who looks like a cocktail waitress in a feeble attempt to stop the clock, while her mother's (Olympia Dukakis) dinner date with a washed-up professor (John Mahoney) serves as a poignant reminder of how pursuing youth and beauty has its limitations.

Shanley's script conveys those messages well enough, but the proceedings are oh so hokey. Mahoney and Aiello give the best performances, and it's because we recognize our feeble, misguided selves in their romantic attempts. Every other character gets their fair share of speeches and starry-eyed moments to the point where we don't recognize the people behind the moon glow. They are swept up in romance in opera houses and charming Brooklyn neighborhoods I'm not sure ever existed.

The problems of the main characters ring true. Who doesn't know someone like Loretta who tries to balance romance and practicality like a determined chemist? And Shanley's attempt to meld Old World romance with real world sensibilities is a great idea, though the result ultimately reeks too much of concept. The parade of Italian merchants and bickerers eventually resembles something out of a sitcom or, worse, an Olive Garden commercial. Shanley spends so much time reminding us what a quaint and cute little movie we're watching that our interest isn't required. The neighborhoods will be gorgeous. Loretta will find that getting a makeover is a wonderful catalyst for love. We're watching a romantic comedy. We get it. The DVD should come with a coupon for Ben & Jerry's and a plastic spoon. Sorry, scratch that. Make it a cannoli.



Moonstruck

Facts and Figures

Run time: 102 mins

In Theaters: Friday 15th January 1988

Box Office Worldwide: $80.6M

Distributed by: MGM Home Entertainment

Production compaines: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Fresh: 46 Rotten: 4

IMDB: 7.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Loretta Castorini, as Ronny Cammareri, as Cosmo Castorini, as Rose Castorini, as John Cammareri, as Rita Cappomaggi, as Perry, Louis Guss as Raymond Capomaggi, Feodor Chaliapin Jr. as Alter Mann, as Mona, Nada Despotovich as Chrissy, Cynthia Dale as Sheila

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Dunkirk Movie Review

Dunkirk Movie Review

Britain's epic 1940 evacuation of Dunkirk has been dramatised on film before, but no one...

Killing Ground Movie Review

Killing Ground Movie Review

From Australia, this dark and edgy thriller is skilfully made by writer-director Damien Power to...

City of Ghosts Movie Review

City of Ghosts Movie Review

This award-winning documentary plays like a thriller as it traces the work of a group...

Cars 3 Movie Review

Cars 3 Movie Review

It's been six years since the last Cars movie (there were two Planes movies in...

The Beguiled Movie Review

The Beguiled Movie Review

In her inimitable loose style, Sofia Coppola remakes the 1971 Clint Eastwood movie from a...

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

The surprisingly thoughtful prequel trilogy comes to a powerful conclusion with this robust, dramatic thriller,...

It Comes At Night Movie Review

It Comes At Night Movie Review

This sharply original horror film not only approaches its premise from an unexpected angle, but...

Advertisement
Okja Movie Review

Okja Movie Review

As Tilda Swinton reteams with her Snowpiercer director, Korea's Bong Joon Ho, it's perhaps unsurprising...

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

This may be the third reboot of this franchise in 15 years, risking audience exhaustion,...

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Actually the fourth film in the series (don't forget the prequel Minions), this animated super-villain...

Baby Driver Movie Review

Baby Driver Movie Review

Wildly energetic and so cool it hurts, this action movie has been put together in...

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

There's a clear sense that this Tupac Shakur biopic is hoping to build on the...

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.