Thursday, September 26, 2013

Pick Me Up Pictures: Moonstruck

Moonstruck (1987)
Find in the Catalog!

In spite of having a big soft spot for 80s romantic comedies (i.e. Tootsie, Broadcast News, anything with John Cusack), I had never gotten around to watching Moonstruck.  I blame it partly on not really seeing Nicholas Cage as a convincing romantic hero and partly on some skepticism about Cher's acting abilities (I should have known not to doubt Cher!).  However, recently I was in the mood to watch something light and fun after watching lots of depressing romance movies from the Guardian's 25 best romance films of all time list (I'm looking at you, Brief Encounter).  So I checked out Moonstruck and was immediately cast under its spell. 

Loretta (Cher) is a widowed bookkeeper in her late 30s.   Her first husband was hit by a bus.  Loretta believes this is because of curse put on her marriage due to getting hitched in City Hall.  When her boyfriend, Johnny Cammareri (Danny Aiello) proposes, she accepts but decides to do everything right this time.  Johnny is a nice, middle-aged mamma's boy who Loretta likes but doesn't love.  When he flies off to Sicily to look after his dying mom, Loretta tries to honor his wish to have his estranged brother Ronny (Nicholas Cage) attend their wedding.   However, things become a wee-bit complicated when Loretta and Ronny wind up in bed together.

Moonstruck gives off the vibe of a modern fairy tale.  From Loretta's strange Italian grandfather walking around with a million dogs to the giant, over-sized full (Cosmo's) moon, the movie definitely has a quirky, magical quality to it.   Probably my favorite aspect of the movie is Loretta's tight knit family.  Olympia Dukakis gives an inspired performance as Loretta's practical but heartbroken mom.  She has some great lines, including advising Loretta that it's good that she doesn't love Johnny because "When you love them, they drive you crazy because they know that they can."  I also really liked that Loretta is a really strong character.  Whether she's making Johnny propose to her on his knees or telly Ronny to "snap out of it" when he confesses his love for her, Loretta certainly doesn't kowtow to the men in her life. 

Overall, this is a super cute movie! Definitely check it out if you want a movie that's light, funny, romantic but also smart and well acted.