Moonstruck is a romantic comedy that presents a quirky snapshot of Italian life in New York, minus the car bombs and shootings of a certain other film about Italian Americans. Cher is enjoyable to watch in her Oscar-winning performance, one of the few to win Best Actress for a comedy. Nicholas Cage also stand out as Ronny Cammareri, as do Olympia Dukakis as Rose and Vincent Gardenia as Cosmo. The film is loaded with excellent quotes, from Cosmo’s rehearsed oration about copper pipe to Cher’s classic “Snap out of it!” when Ronny professes his love. Not to mention, my VC and I both love the wacky mannerisms and idiosyncrasies of Loretta’s expressive but loving family, Cosmo’s throwing up his hands and insisting “I don’t wanna talk about it,” Johnny constantly forgetting his bags. The grandfather’s reaction to the kitchen table conversation at the end is just hilarious.
All that said, I don’t care for a main aspect of the “romance.” Loretta and Ronny’s liaison seems centered on making love, which, while passionate, seems to build their relationship on lust rather than real love. They hardly know each other during their first tryst, and there isn’t a whole lot of connecting before the next one either. Loretta is clearly attracted to him in a better way, but Ronny’s impassioned speech ends with “get in my bed,” which is kind of a letdown since Loretta’s main appeal to him is apparently just sex. Still, faithfulness is nicely extolled in Rose’s refusal to cheat on her own philandering husband.
I also appreciate the filmmakers’ comparative restraint concerning nudity and language, which allows the ingenious screenplay to shine without a bunch of unnecessary profanity. Moonstruck is an entertaining film that features some great performances and dialogue and pokes fun at Italian eccentricities that everyone should get a kick out of. (Again, my VC would have it much higher on her list.)Best line (a hard choice): (Cosmo) “You’ll have your eyes opened for you, my friend.” (Johnny) “I have my eyes open.” (Cosmo) “Oh yeah? Well, stick around. Don’t go on any long trips.” (Johnny) “I don’t know what you mean.” (Cosmo) “I know you don’t. That’s the point. I’ll say no more.” (Johnny) “You haven’t said anything!” (Cosmo) “And that’s all I’m saying.”
VC’s best line (in reference to an earlier line): (Rose) “Do you love him, Loretta?” (Loretta) “Aw, ma, I love him awful.” (Rose) “Oh, God, that’s too bad.”
Artistry: 7 Characters/Actors: 8 Entertainment: 8 Visual Effects: N/A Originality: 6 Watchability: 7 Other (language and Ronny’s apparent shallowness): -6 TOTAL: 30 out of 60
Next: #308: The African Queen
© 2014 S. G. Liput