Moonstruck (1987)

Moonstruck (1987)

Cher and a bombastic Nicolas Cage ignite a charming love affair in 80s New York

7.1

Movie

United States of America
English, Italian
Comedy, Drama, Romance
1987
NORMAN JEWISON
Al Therrien, Amy Aquino, Anita Gillette
102 min

What it's about

37-year-old Italian-American widow Loretta Castorini believes she is unlucky in love, and so accepts a marriage proposal from her boyfriend Johnny, even though she doesn't love him. When she meets his estranged younger brother Ronny, an emotional and passionate man, she finds herself drawn to him. She tries to resist, but Ronny, who blames his brother for the loss of his hand, has no scruples about aggressively pursuing her while Johnny is out of the country. As Loretta falls for Ronny, she learns that she's not the only one in her family with a secret romance.

The take

It’s easy enough to pitch Moonstruck with the promise of Cher and a young Nicolas Cage getting hot and heavy in 80s New York, but it’s so much more than its two outsized leads. Loretta (Cher) is on track to marry Johnny (Danny Aiello) when he tasks her with inviting his brother Ronny (Nicolas Cage) to their wedding. Before long Loretta and Ronny are having a whirlwind affair that threatens to derail everything. 

Despite the somewhat risque premise, Moonstruck is a lighthearted, sentimental, romance fit for the holidays. A big cast playing the warm-hearted family rounds things out, and some of the best moments are digressions that explore the romantic entanglements outside of the central couple.  At times Moonstruck feels a bit too big, too over-the-top, too cheesy, but it’s a New York slice cheesy, it’s a ‘That’s Amore’ cheesy, it’s a cheesy that tucks you in at night after a  helping of manicotti and a big bottle of wine.

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