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  • People call this Cher's movie, but Olympia Dukakis makes it for me. It's under her roof that I heard some of my favorite dialogue in the movies.

    I am not a violent person, but "Old man . . . you give those dogs another piece of my meat and I'll kick ya til ya dead!" has got to be on my top ten list of memorable quotes.

    I like the conversations around this family's kitchen table maybe because growing up, meals in my house were pretty silent even though there were seven of us. Funny that it took an Irish screenwriter to capture the Italian cadences. These people aren't caricatures of Italians or any other ethnicity, they are just a vocal family.

    In another time, with just a few changes in the script, this story could have been high operatic drama. But it's not. It's a romantic comedy not a tragedy - even though it contains elements of tragedy - death under a bus, a lost limb, betrayal of marriage vows, and misinterpretations and misunderstandings.

    But these characters TALK about what's on their minds. You want to know where the Met is located? You ask your hairdresser. You think your husband is flirting with another woman? You tell him that while you're both working behind the wine counter - in front of a customer. You're mad at your brother, you want to know why men need more than one woman, you want your son to pay for the wedding of his only daughter? If you really want to know, if you really want results or answers, you speak up!

    Besides movies based on Agatha Christie novels, it is rare that a story ends with bringing the entire cast together more satisfyingly than "Moonstruck." The morning-after-the-opera scene in Rose Castorini's sunny kitchen with all the characters present is one that I can watch again and again. "You've got a love-bite on yer neck - your life's goin down the toilet!" "I want you to stop seeing her" "Who are we waiting for?" "Johnny Cammarari" "You're a part of the family!"

    No matter what sort of table you grew up around, rent or buy this movie.

    And remember, "No matter what you're gonna do you gonna die, just like everybody else!"
  • This movie is brilliant in every way. It touches on the complexities of loving relationships in a meaningful way, but never lectures. The script never condescends toward any character, not even the hapless Johnny. It also and benefits from spot-on direction, production design, casting, and performances. The fact that Cher is so perfect in the film and is more unlike "Cher" than she has ever been is a wonder to me. I watch Moonstruck at least once a year and I just viewed it again this Christmas eve with my 16 year old twin daughters and they loved it as well. It has something for everyone with a heart and leaves you filled with joy in the end.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Loretta Castorini (Cher)is a woman in her late thirties, a widow, who lives with her parents in a duplex apartment in Brooklyn. She is engaged to marry Johnny Cammareri (Danny Aiello), a bland man, more out of a resigned duty than actual love. Before their wedding Johnny takes a trip out to visit his mother who is sick and leaves Loretta the function of playing the olive leaf with his brother Ronny by notifying him of their impending wedding. Ronny (Nicholas Cage) hasn't forgiven Johnny for being the cause of his accident which caused him the loss of his hand (and subsequently, his then-bride-to-be), but he does fall for Loretta, and hard. After a heated affair Loretta out of respect for Johnny tries to avoid Ronny, but his dark looks and overpowering masculinity win her over. Meanwhile, Loretta's mother Rose Castorini (Olympia Dukakis) is not only suspecting her husband Cosmo (Vincent Gardenia) is seeing another woman, but is also herself the subject of admiration from a college professor and wonders why do men chase women. Things get complicated when Johnny returns from Sicily to tell Loretta they can't be married.

    The setup is pure sitcom, but the story, written by John Patrick Shanley with a deep understanding for Italian-Americans living in New York, is genuine: he gets the idiosyncrasies of these people and their day-to-day foibles and quirks, and all of the characters have a deep romanticism that comes through in key moments throughout the story. Loretta, a character hardened by the loss of her husband and knowing her chances of happiness are slim, slowly emerges as a woman who is so swept by the sudden recognition of love she becomes the heroine of La Boheme -- the one who acknowledges the love of the man with the wooden hand (in a clever gender reversal), and Cher inhabits the role and makes it hers and in her own style subtly trades her frumpiness to a deep, dark beauty. Ronny is pure fire and Nicholas Cage exudes masculine power as if he were channeling Marlon Brando. The Castorini's and the Cappomaggi's, counterbalancing the central couple, both express their love for each other in two very crucial moments: the latter couple, on the night of the full moon when Loretta and Ronny consummate their affair -- a rare scene depicting love and intimacy among the elderly --, and the former at a tense moment over breakfast when Rose bluntly reveals, in touching words, that she wants Cosmo to stop seeing his mistress Mona (Anita Gillette).

    MOONSTRUCK is not only the romantic comedy and date movie of choice, but also a beautiful examination of love and passion among regular people. The ending is a tour de force of emotional impact, the family situation going beyond the momentary complications to cement it in tradition going back to the days of immigrants, and is one that elevates this movie from being just another feel-good movie to a classic. MOONSTRUCK deservedly got its Oscars for Best Writing, Actress, and Supporting Actress, and has proved to grow beyond its time.
  • Varlaam17 August 1998
    10/10
    So warm
    So wonderful, so quirky, so romantic, so Italian. The film is so feather -light you float off into its refracted reality and you never want to return to the humdrum again. A kitchen sink world of bakeries, and hairdressers, and plumbing, but one that shimmers with a soft luminescence. Should the credit go to the screenplay or the direction? Take your pick -- they're both faultless. Let me get back to that New York City that lies just beyond the looking glass.
  • rbverhoef10 February 2004
    'Moonstruck' is a love story. There is not one romance, there are at least three, but they all have to do with the same family. Loretta's family. Loretta (Cher) is about to marry Johnny Cammareri (Danny Aiello). She doesn't love him, but he is sweet and good man. When he leaves to visit his dying mother in Italy Loretta meets Johnny's brother Ronny (Nicolas Cage). He and Johnny haven't spoken each other in five years and Loretta wants to invite him to the wedding. Of course they fall instantly for each other.

    How this story and love stories of Loretta's parents and uncle and aunt develop is something you simply have to see for yourself. Every seen is a delight to watch, with Cher as the bright star in the middle of everything. She won and really deserved the Oscar that year. Cage is pretty good, and goofy as well, and Olympia Dukakis as Loretta's mother and Vincent Gardenia as her father are terrific. This movie is funny, charming and therefore highly enjoyable.
  • preppy-38 September 2000
    Wonderful romance comedy drama about an Italian widow (Cher) who's planning to marry a man she's comfortable with (Danny Aiello) until she falls for his headstrong, angry brother (Nicholas Cage). The script is sharp with plenty of great lines, the acting is wonderful, the accents (I've been told) are letter perfect and the cinematography is beautiful. New York has never looked so good on the screen. A must-see primarily for Cher and Olympia Dukakis--they're both fantastic and richly deserved the Oscars they got. A beautiful, funny film. A must see!
  • Deliriously romantic comedy with intertwining subplots that mesh beautifully and actors who bounce lines off each other with precise comic timing, a feat that is beautiful to behold. When Cher's spineless fiancé asks her to help him make peace with his estranged, moody younger brother, no one could dream the consequences which follow. Operatic symbolism, Catholic church confessions, love bites and falling snow..."Moonstruck" is timeless and smooth. It takes about 15 minutes for the picture's rhythm to kick in (there's an early sequence with the grandfather and his dogs at the cemetery that's a little rough, and a following scene with Cosmo and the elderly man at the gate that seems obtuse), but the patchwork of the plot is interwoven with nimble skill, and the movie's wobbly tone and kooky spirit are both infectious. ***1/2 from ****
  • ddejoy273013 February 2006
    There is nothing not to like about Moonstruck. I'm from a New York Italian family and I actually get a little homesick when I watch it. The actors & actresses, the plot, the subplots, the humor.. they were all fantastic. It starts a little slow, but a lot happens in that two days! I fell in love with LaBoheme because of this movie. On my list of favorite movies, Moonstruck is number 3. It's a "feel good" movie where you leave the theatre humming "that's amore" or repeating some of your favorite lines: "old man, if you give those dogs another piece of my food, I'll kick you till you're dead"; "Chrissy, bring me the big knife", "who's dead", "do you love him Loretta....., good because when you do, they drive you crazy because they know they can". I always put Moonstruck on when there's nothing good to watch because it makes me happy.
  • arancia1227 September 2010
    Warning: Spoilers
    This romantic comedy is about as good as it gets. I saw this movie when it first came out and loved it, saw it again on 16 Sept 2010, and many times in between. It never fails to impress.

    It's the only movie I liked Cher in. Nick Cage plays an over-the-top, brooding romantic to Danny Aiello's safe, stodgy, stingy older brother. Dukakis is brilliant as the sad and wise mother and I can't stand Vincent Gardenia but even his role is irreplaceable.

    The movie is beautifully filmed and so full of fun it overflows. Each scene is perfect. The characters intertwine and if you don't like the love scene between the Cappomaggis you aren't human.

    Another poster asked what the purpose of the lost deposit bag is. It's the reason the Cappomaggis come to the house early in the morning. It's a foil to get all the family in one place.

    I have no idea what Italians in NY are like. Frankly, I have no idea what NY is like. But this film makes me smell the streets and the bread shop and the old home. All the characters move comfortably in the environment and they all come together at just the right time.

    It's about la luna, l'amore, and la famiglia. This film may never be considered an all-time great piece of work, but based upon the horrible romantic comedies coming out today, making a good one is pretty difficult and this is an excellent romantic comedy.
  • charlywiles14 January 2016
    When the above line is uttered by a tearful, elderly character at the end of this wonderful, funny, charming romantic comedy, I laughed so hard, my ribs hurt. The film is a heart warming look at a quirky Italian-American family in Brooklyn that happens to be going through some relationship issues. It is a multi-layered story with some terrific vignettes and the script, cast and performances are all first rate. Cher, Olympia Dukakis (both Oscar winners), Vincent Gardenia and Danny Aiello have rarely, if ever, been better and the tuneful and romantic score is an added treat. This is a must-see and another gem from the great director Jewison.
  • This is certainly in my top-10 favorite movies. It is so filled with poetry and smart humor that the only possible weakness could be that it's too good! I mean, it's so funny and touching throughout that I worry I'm being manipulated by a master of narrative so powerful that I'm overwhelmed. When every scene seems classic then surely it's a cliché, no? Well, anyway, that's my irrational worry. The only lapse in its logic and flow that I can see is that Johnny says he can't get married now because his mother will die. But, wait a minute, didn't she get better because he was getting married? Riddle me this, my friends. That's always bothered me. On the other hand, you can take Nick Cage's speech outside of his apartment and set it to verse and it's a work of passionate art! "We are meant to love the wrong people, etc., etc. " Wham! Beautiful! The ending is my fave, the reconciliation, the links to history & family. Beautiful! Who doesn't wan't to be an Italian (or at least a member of an Italianish family) after seeing this movie? I've been moonstruck for almost 20 years over this flick. Only a smack across the kisser by Cher could snap me out of it. I should be so lucky...
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Loretta Castorini once tried living in a romantic comedy, but her husband was hit and killed by a bus. Cher's delivery of this revelation renders it almost an afterthought, like the deflated punchline of a poor joke. She's been raised to marry young and for children, and when she defies this natural order and does so for love, the universe sent along a bus to crush her dreams (and her late husband). The opening scenes of Moonstruck detail how detached and impervious she is to the typical attractions of the genre. Loretta is a tight-lipped, business-first accountant, pretty but aging, and a pragmatist at heart. When her boyfriend Johnny obliterates every last convention of proposing, she reacts with deadpan precision as if it was another tax return to file (see how she rattles off her sins at confession, and slips her infidelity in there). Why tempt the gods a second time?

    New York is a city where strange and magical things can happen, and with 'That's Amore' opening the film, the most Italian song in English ever, serenading the moon-lit skyline, we more than expect it. The interiors of the Castorini home are brought to life with a warm palette, enlarged in an eccentric, sitcom way, with each piece of wooden furniture or rustic appliance telling a whole story in itself. The rooms are cramped and possess an eternal, lived-in quality about them so we see exactly how the family traditions are retained, and how they can squeeze several generations into the same building at once. They stage confrontations around the breakfast and dinner table, with dialogue like questioning jabs at lifestyle choices, and well- meaning intentions going awry.

    At Christmas, the full moon beckons and these characters come to life. Nicholas Cage enters in a role that no one, not even Loretta, could expect or begin to explain. Cage is infamous for his eccentric wildness, and as he recounts his tale it begins to overcome the facts. It turns out that Johnny ordered a loaf of bread, and in the ensuing distraction Ronny lost not only his hand but also his girl. It's supposed to be tragedy, but Cage renders it a comedy, crying dramatically for a knife to end his life, asking us not to question the bizarre line of thinking that led him to blame his brother. The wooden hand is the cherry on top, revealed in a delirious monologue so deliciously full of irony and self-imposed gravitas that only Cage could ever pull it off, but also make it funny. Later as he tries to persuade Loretta into his bed again, he gives a speech so vehemently trying to subvert conventional romance it doesn't realise it's drowning in clichés. Cage splutters and staggers so often we realise he is making it up as he goes, and finishes with a desperate flourish: "GET. IN. MY. BED!". The way he so obviously reaches into the (shallow) depths of his soul will have even the hardest-hearted cynic giggling.

    Soon the stiff accountant is tossed out the window and diving into bed with her fiance's brother. The soundtrack assists this shift, transforming an indifferent city into one of love and mystery. Listen to how Hyman's flutes and trumpets twist curiously as Loretta shops for something to wear to the opera, and how its inklings of mischief suggest something a little more sexy than her usual costume. Later he uses a sax heavy mood piece as she prepares next to the crackling fireplace, an atmosphere ripped straight from an old-fashioned noir, Loretta shedding her skin to reveal a newer woman. The film's most luminous moment comes when the pair join hands at the opera, and her tears melt away the last of her resistance. Jewison never orientates us with a wide shot, so the moon looms in the background of the stage, casting the same magical spell over the audience as it does to the city, blasting through windows and blinds, making night like day and old men twenty five.

    The one person immune to this trance is Rose. Dukakis is a great casting because we can immediately see how Loretta retains the same long, angular nose, lean face and no-nonsense approach. While the whole city is under the moon's spell, she's dining alone and searching for answers to her husband's affair. She encounters a regular of the story, and the way the professor switches from preying on young college students to her is so smooth and full of charm that anyone but Rose would have fallen for it. But she knows herself quite clearly. Her character is intricate without ever upsetting the balance of the film - she believes her husband might have a good reason for his disappearances, but won't simply toss aside the decades of marriage when he doesn't. Jewison depicts some of that Cosmo charm with the same peculiar humour that he affords to the whole cast. We see his pitch about different types of metal piping, and the passion in his gestures and insistence on the best material for his customers, and then swings the camera around in a later scene to reveal how he utilises the same showmanship to woo his mistress.

    In Moonstruck, Jewison takes a strange phrase and diffuses it into the lives of a New Yorker family with uncanny results. Grown men turn into sex-crazed werewolves, old couples are re-energised, and new relationships are grafted. Do we dare question why a man with a wooden hand would work all day in front of an oven? No, because the story is beyond the mere logic of the ordinary and everyday. In the morning-after of the miracle, Loretta skips in her heels and kicks cans, and the opera pipes up to accompany her street waltz although there is no singer in sight, because she is moonstruck. And along the way, we witness how funny and tricky the trials and tribulations of love can be.
  • onepotato214 June 2008
    Warning: Spoilers
    The "movie aimed at adults" is a rare thing these days, but Moonstruck does it well, and is still a better than average movie, which is aging very well. Although it's comic moments aim lower than the rest of it, the movie has a wonderful specificity (Italians in Brooklyn) that isn't used to shortchange the characters or the viewers. (i.e. Mobsters never appear in acomplication. It never becomes grotesque like My Big Fat Greek Wedding) The secondary story lines are economically told with short scenes that allow a break from the major thread. These are the scenes that are now missing in contemporary movies where their immediate value cannot be impressed upon producers and bigwigs. I miss these scenes. It also beautifully involves older characters. The movie takes it's own slight, quiet path to a conclusion. There isn't a poorly written scene included anywhere to make some executives sphincter relax. Cage and Cher do very nice work.

    Moonstruck invokes old-school, ethnic, workaday New York much like 'Marty' except Moonstruck is way less sanctimonious.
  • mplummer-221 April 2006
    Having been raised in an all Italian household and neighborhood surrounded by my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, godparents (all of Italian decent), I was totally enamored by this movie.

    The first time I saw it (now at least 200 times on video, maybe more), I laughed and cried at the same time.

    Since the movie first came out , I have lost my mother, my aunt, my godmother and the loving feeling that came with their beings. Just being around my loved ones gave me the feeling of comfort.

    When I get very melancholy and miss them, especially around the holidays, I put in "MOONSTRUCK" and feel that a part of my family is with me.

    The kitchen scene when Loretta is feeding Ronnie, the " not so well done"steak, so it can feed his blood, is hilarious. Those words would have come out of any of my female relatives.

    Ronnie's white kitchen with the white fixtures and white tile is a copycat of my aunt Elvira's spotless kitchen.

    When Mrs. Casterini is fixing the breakfast of fried eggs in the Italian bread blankets for Loretta and herself, I was in my grandmother's kitchen.

    I get such comfort when the movie scenes are in the Casterini kitchen, dining room and parlor.

    The family scenes were so authentically Italian that there are too many to mention.

    Granted Fellini's La Dolce Vita is a work of genius, but MOONSTRUCK will have a place in my heart and movie collection FOREVER, because it's FAMILIA.
  • This film stands head and shoulders above the vast majority of cinematic romantic comedies. It is virtually flawless! The writing, acting, production design, humor and pathos are all wonderful! Even the music -- from Dean Martin to La Boheme -- is captivating and delightful!

    Every character is peculiarly delightful and memorable, from the leads played by Cher and Nicolas Cage, to the many supporting roles -- Olympia Dukakis , Vincent Gardenia, John Mahoney, Danny Aiello -- even grandpa with his dog pack! Each of these performers, plus Norman Jewison as Director, performs above their normal quality in this ensemble work. For several of the actors, this was an early major exposure in film, so the casting is also exceptional -- and we have many current acting powerhouses whose careers were altered by their effectiveness in this film.

    I've seen this film several times all the way through -- which can sometimes deflate the impact of a film substantially. More tellingly, I realized some years ago that whenever I channel-surfed my way into a scene from this film -- any scene -- the scene was compelling and beautifully crafted. There are so many stunning and memorable scenes the original meeting between the Cher and Nicolas Cage characters, where Cage tells his tale of woe; Vincent Gardenia discovered with his paramour at the opera, amidst the splendor generated by his gold-mine plumbing business; Olympia Dukakis scolding John Mahoney for philandering with his student in the classic line about liaisons with co-workers: "Don't sh-t where you eat!"; Danny Aiello at his dying mother's bedside; Nicolas Cage "taking" Cher as the rapture of an aria soars in the background!

    There are of course many great romantic comedies, among them Sabrina (both versions, but especially the Audrey Hepburn/Humphrey Bogart/William Holden original); When Harry Met Sally; The Apartment.

    None quite equals Moonstruck!
  • Maybe we should be committed, but my husband and I have memorized virtually the entire movie. Neither of us has ever been so in love with a film. The reason this movie "struck" us so I think is because it illuminates the human heart at it's romantic best. Not to mention that there is a line in this movie appropriate for almost any of life's experiences. I don't know how we would get through a day without it! I guess we truly are lunatics! Ha. Perhaps in our love relationships, we should see one another in the romantic glow given off by the bella luna. I can't pick a favorite line, but the scene when Loretta first confronts Ronnie in the bakery is powerful, moving, and Nicolas Cage at his very best "I ain't no monument to justice!...". Also, when he walks her to his place in the freezing cold and tells her "we're not here to make things perfect. We are here to ruin ourselves and love the wrong people..." Permission to be passionate and flawed.

    Trivia-Did you know that the second slap Loretta gives Ronnie when she tells him to "snap out of it!" was impromptu, and that they both cracked up after that and filmed the rest of that scene struggling not to burst out laughing?
  • ...because as a native and life long resident of Dallas watching this in 1988 the ways of Italian Americans living in New York were completely unfamiliar to me. Now I watch it and go - oh yeah, I get it!

    Cher is playing Loretta, a 37 year old widow of 7 years who married late for her culture - age 28 - holding out for love only to have her husband get run over by a bus. So when a long time date/friend Johnny Cammareri asks her to marry him, she accepts. As she tells her mother (Olympia Dukakis), she doesn't love him, but she does like him. Then Johnny has to leave town and tells Loretta that he wants her to help him make things right between himself and his brother (Nicholas Cage) who have not spoken for years. And then when these two meet lightning strikes - in a good way - except it's a bad way since Loretta is engaged to Johnny.

    Loretta's family has problems too. Her mom knows her dad is having an affair although he has no intention of leaving her. A misunderstanding causes Loretta's extended family to think that she embezzled some money, and a professor in a restaurant who is always getting slapped and left by young girls throws some romantic attention the way of Dukakis' character.

    This sounds like it could be serious, but it is just a sweet romantic comedy and at the same time a family comedy very much steeped in the culture of Italian Americans who never left New York after migrating here and thus retain much of the history of their original homeland in their daily life. There is a hilarious confession, great one liners, a hand lost in some machinery years ago, the opera, and ultimately a woman who decides she is too young at age 37 to go around with the hair of a 50 year old. I think it has aged well.
  • This movie is still an all time favorite. Only a pretentious, humorless moron would not enjoy this wonderful film. This movie feels like a slice of warm apple pie topped with french vanilla ice cream! I think this is Cher's best work ever and her most believable performance. Cher has always been blessed with charisma, good looks, and an enviably thin figure. Whether you like her singing or not - who else sounds like Cher? Cher has definitely made her mark in the entertainment industry and will be remembered long after others have come and gone. She is one of the most unique artists out there. It's funny, because who would have thought of Cher as such a naturally gifted actress? She is heads above the so-called movie "stars" of today. Cher is a real actor on the same level as Debra Winger, Alfre Woodard, Holly Hunter, Angela Bassett and a few others, in that she never seems to be "acting," she really becomes the character convincingly. She has more than earned the respect of her peers and of the movie-going public.

    Everything about Moonstruck is wonderful - the characters, the scenery, the dialog, the food. I never get tired of watching this movie.

    Every time single time I watch the scene where they are all sitting around the dinner table at Rose's house, I pause the remote to see exactly what delicious food Rose is serving. I saw the spaghetti, mushrooms (I think), but I can't make out whether they are eating ravioli, ziti? What is that main course? It looks wonderful and its driving me nuts!

    Everybody in that family was a hardworking individual and they respected and cared about one another. The grandfather wasn't pushed aside and tolerated, he was a vital part of the family and he was listened to and respected for his age and wisdom. He seemed to be a pretty healthy, independent old codger too.

    Loretta's mom wasn't "just a housewife," she was the glue that held the family together and was a model example of what a wife, mother, and home manager should aspire to be. She was proud of the lifestyle she had chosen but she didn't let it define who she was. High powered businessmen aren't as comfortable in their skin as Rose Casterini was. Notice the saucy way she said "I didn't have kids until after I was 37. It ain't over 'til its over." You got the sense that she had been the type of young woman who did exactly as she pleased and got her way without the other person realizing what had happened. She was charming, quick witted, and very smart. What a great mom!

    I didn't actually like Loretta right away because she seemed like a bit of a know--it-all who wasn't really as adventurous and as in control of herself as she wanted others to think. She could tell others about themselves and where they had gone wrong, but she really didn't apply common sense to her own life. She was going to marry a middle-aged mama's boy simply because she wanted a husband and a sense of identity and purpose to her life. She was more conventional than her own mom. She dressed and wore her hair like a matron at a house of detention and seemed humorless and bored, but underneath you sensed that she was vulnerable and lonely and had a lot of love to give the right man. She would probably end up making an awesome mom too.

    I could see in the future, a house full of Loretta and Ronnie's loud, screaming happy kids and Rose and Cosmo enjoying every minute of it.
  • (Credit goes to IMDb) Loretta Castorini, a book keeper from Brooklyn, New York, finds herself in a difficult situation when she falls for the brother of the man she agreed to marry (the best friend of her late husband who died seven years previously).

    I'm one of the few that don't get it. Despite the wonderful cast, I never got the appeal of this movie. The style has always gotten on my nerves, and it's not my type of romance. I didn't laugh, didn't smile very much, and the enjoyment is nullified by Cher's annoying performance. I thought she overdid it, lacking chemistry with Cage. I'm a big Cage fan, but I didn't care for his performance here. Dukakis & Aiello add charm to their parts, and I thought they were more entertaining than Cher and Cage! Lots of people love it, so It's probably just me. I don't care for it.

    5.3/10
  • Everything about this film just works so well. I have just seen it for the third time, after several years. It is as fresh as 'a flower newly plucked'. The quirky, tempestuous zest of the irrepressible Cher fills the film with more fizz than a case of Pepsi. (And no, I don't drink such stuff, but you have to admit it is fizzy, if one ignores the aspartame and other dire threats to health.) Cher plays a wildly independent 'handful', the kind of gal who has true character and is very lovable if you can put up with her. Her husband died some time back and she has not found love again, so she is grumpy, being 37 years old and about to settle for the marital proposal of the feeble mama's-boy played by Danny Aiello, whom she proudly tells her mother she does not love. ('That's good,' says the mother, drolly played by Olympia Dukakis.) Aiello flies off to Palermo to see his mother who is always dramatically dying but never does. Before going, he asks Cher to contact his brother. 'What, you have a brother?' asks the incredulous Cher. Aiello says they have not spoken in five years but he must be invited to the wedding. So Cher goes to a great deal of trouble to locate and invite the brother, who turns out to be the young Nicholas Cage. He is pretty much of a slob to look at, but he is charming and passionate, and they fall in love at first sight. Cage is very good indeed at the part. So romantic complications arise. Meanwhile, Cher's parents are having romantic complications of their own. She also has an eccentric grandfather who lives in the house but is in love with his five dogs, so that's OK. He asks his dogs to howl at the moon, and they do. (The moon keeps recurring in the film and wakes everybody up because it is large and full and stirs the blood.) The screenplay of this film by John Patrick Shanley crackles with lively wit, sending off sparks of laughter and satirical asides like an exposed electric cable thrashing about in a storm. And then at the helm is the amazing Norman Jewison, one of Hollywood's best. So this film is a classic, truly it is. They make such affectionate fun of the New York Sicilian Italian families and their quaint ways. (This would make a lot of sense to Nick Cage, who is a New York Sicilian Italian by origin. As for Cher, she seems to be 'Armenian or something'.) Jews and Italians both have mamas and they understand each other, even though the Jews have the better sense of humour about it all. This film is so continuously hilarious and delightful that any attempt to review it, other than as a stand-up comic, is an insult. Anyone with joie de vivre (I know that's not Italian, but I don't know how to say joie de vivre in Italian, do you?) and a sense of fun, and who knows how to laugh, can only be 'over the moon' about MOONSTRUCK, as I have been all these years, and I'm still howling.
  • greg-pruitt14 May 2009
    "Moonstruck" is a movie that I liked the first time I watched it. I really liked it the second time. I loved it the third time. Now it is one of my all time favorites.

    The humor is subtle but really good. The film offers a lot of warmth humor. the story takes place in a old school Italian neighborhood in NYC. Cher's search for love is enjoyable to watch. This film is, by far, the best job Nicholas Cage has done on film. The old man character is fantastic. He lights up the screen without saying a word. The scene with his dogs howling at the moon was fantastic. But, perhaps the best character is the one played by Olympia Dukakis.

    The film's climax is a scene where the main characters have it out over a breakfast of oatmeal in the family kitchen. Exceptional direction and wrap up.
  • Seeing "Moonstruck" after so many years is a reminder of how sweet and sensationally funny this film was when it first appeared. Who knew that Cher could act? Who had ever heard of Olympia Dukakis? Nicholas Cage was the beginning of his career, and Vincent Gardenia and Danny Aiello were not known for their comedic talents, nor was Norman Jewison the director.

    The only really flat note in this splendid work is "When the Moon Hits Your Eye Like a Big Pizza Pie, That's Amore," a song that is sung too many times in the movie (once is already too many) and that went on to have a long afterlife in popular music.

    Cher is -- forgive me -- sensational as Loretta Castorini, a widow who wants to be married and does not have to be in love with the groom. Aielo (Johny Cammareri) obliges by proposing, offering her his pinkie ring as a substitute for an engagement ring, then rushes off to Sicily to be with his dying mother. He charges Loretta with seeing to that his estranged brother, Ronny, attends the wedding. Loretta confronts Ronny and quickly falls in love with him. Meanwhile, her father (Vincent Gardenia) is cheating on her mother (Olympia Dukakis), which Loretta accidentally discovers when Ronny invites her to the Metropolitan Opera.

    Everything works out in the end, as it inevitably does in films of this genre. In the meantime, all the actors acquit themselves admirably and the audience enjoys itself. In its way, "Moonstruck" is how Hollywood used to be at its best: rollicking entertainment with no social significance whatsoever. If they'd only lost "That's Amore" along the way, it would have been perfect.
  • Let me tell you this movie is brilliant! Hilarious!! Cher and Olympia are fantastic. Why can't they make movies like this nowadays. Love love this romantic comedy
  • The bittersweet twist to this movie contains a wonderful element of romanticism that evokes an impetuous passion! These characteristics of idealistic imagery which "Moonstruck" possesses, spur on an end result of a resounding thumbs up verdict by virtually every prominent critic in Hollywood. Let me describe the circumstances to this film, simply put, they are "yesteryear". "Moonstruck" is a cohesive film which sparks the naivety of an old Italian neighborhood in New York City. New York City has always been one big melting pot that is galvanized by many bicker-some mannerisms which are indicative of typical New Yorkers, this includes a lot of Italian Americans living in New York as well! The mid and late eighties brought on an abrupt conclusion to many strong associations with various cultural stereotypes. Ethnicity polarization was a firmly embedded scourge in American history that was far more prevalent several generations before this movie was made. These generalizing proclivities still exist today, however, they are more mollified and less identifiable! For this Italian family of a bygone era, confusion, indecisiveness, agitation, and yes, of course, love, all have the comical camaraderie of an utterly human understanding to them! The kindred spirits with everyone in "Moonstruck" seems to be that of comprehending individual frailties. One might wonder about Cher playing the lead role, as she is more known as an entertainer than a big box office first billing star in a movie. In "Moonstruck", however, I think she was incredibly well suited to her role, and came off as thoroughly believable in a relatively unbelievable situation. All of the characters in "Moonstruck" are very rough around the edges, really tough, and not afraid to have a formidable duel with adversity. The most hilarious aspect to their lives is imperfection, and they are thoroughly aware of the fact that weathering the storm definitely serves a constructive purpose! I thought the acting in this movie was sensational. All relationships in this movie garner an auspicious potential to vividly illuminate because everybody knows how everybody else's basic nature is really like!! For this family, nothing is glamorous, nothing is pretentiously romantic, and nothing is overly emotional (just moderately so). The fact is, this entire family is plainly and perpetually afflicted and overcome by an extremely zealous and candid cupid in all of their lives. Taking moon beams literally can indeed have a pleasantly enervating impact on one's resolve, masqueraded mystique, and resistance to the proverbial am ore'. Thus signifying everything!! The homey and mercurial tenet in this film is basically one of ; Be honest, get angry; Be honest, get confrontational; Be honest, get distorted and emphatic; Most importantly; Be honest, and fall in love!! This is Cher's best performance ever as an actress!! Nicholas Cage, Danny Aiello, and Olympia Dukakis, were wonderfully flawed in "Moonstruck" Such performances by these three were perfectly appropriate for the kinetic energy of the characters in this movie! Director, Norman Jewison (Famous for "Cincinnati Kid", "Thomas Crowne Affair", and most famous for "In The Heat Of The Night" which won the academy award for best picture in 1967) depicts many keen and humanistic instincts in the process of purveying the deliberate incongruity to this film! I am Italian American in descent, (Partially anyways) Cher is not Italian, and, for that matter, neither is the writer nor the director! I guess since non-Italians like eating our food, they may as well use our culture to make a fabulous film too! It is refreshing to know that a film can be marvelous and have an incredibly happy ending!! For those of you who didn't like this movie, I just have one thing to say "Snap Out Of It!!" This movie "Moonstruck" is totally happy go lucky!! Totally eighties!! and Totally five stars!! See it!!
  • This is honestly one of my very favorite movies. The story is so simple and the characters are so good. I love Cher and Nicolas cage together. I can't imagine anyone else playing those roles so perfectly.

    "We are here to ruin ourselves, and to break our hearts, and love the wrong people, and die."

    God, what a fantastic film.
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