Movie Review: Moonstruck (1987)

Starring: Cher, Nicolas Cage and Olympia Dukakis

Directed by: Norman Jewison

Loretta Castorini finds herself in a bit of a sticky situation when she falls in love with the brother of the man she is meant to marry.

Ever since watching Mask way back in February, which I still can’t believe was so long ago where has this year gone?, I’ve been keen to check out more of Cher’s acting work. My desire to watch more of the movies that she has starred in was only amplified after watching her make a cameo appearance in Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again. Combine that with my wife loving everything about her right now I knew it wasn’t going to be long until the next Cher movie was going to come and after a quick glance through Netflix we found Moonstruck, which was the movie that she won her Academy Award for best leading actress.

After watching Moonstruck I can see why she won the Award and deservingly so although her performance here wasn’t as good as the one in Mask but it was still top quality. Moonstruck allowed her to be more fun and quirky and quite literally let her hair down whereas Mask was at times a little intense and serious. Here she stars as Loretta Castorini who has been unlucky in love as her first husband died after only two years of marriage and now at the age of 37, with no kids, she finds herself engaged to a man she doesn’t love but really likes, Johnny Cammereri (Danny Aiello). Immediately after getting engaged Johnny travels to Italy to be at his mothers side who is on her deathbed and leaves Loretta to plan the wedding but begs that she contacts his estranged brother Ronny, played by Nicholas Cage, and invite him along. The pair of brothers haven’t spoken in five years but Loretta pays Ronny a visit and before she knows it she is falling in love with him. Combine the drama of Loretta’s love life with her father having an affair this crazy story of cheating and infidelity is about to get exposed and in the most comical and absurd ways possible.

Moonstruck was so much fun to watch it really took me off guard. Cher was excellent as were Olympia Dukakis and Vincent Gardenia who played her parents and all 3 of these extremely talented actors shared great chemistry and fantastically funny segments on screen. Each character had their own mesmerising charm which was so easy to enjoy despite her fathers infidelity and I’m not sure because of his actions whether we were meant to dislike him as a character but he was so great and funny that it was hard not to fall in love with him. Nicholas Cage was pretty good for an early career performance although something initially kept bothering me about him until I clicked that it was the way his teeth looked. Obviously early on in his career before he could afford the fake Hollywood smile that I’ve become so used to he looked a little different and it took me a while to notice but once I noticed my mind could be at ease and I could continue enjoying the movie as it was bugging me why he looked so different.

The final scene where Loretta and her family, joined by Ronny, are eating breakfast was one of the best final scenes to a movie that I’ve ever seen. It was written brilliantly and acted out superbly and was a great laugh to watch as each character showed visible signs of discomfort as the truth began to spill out onto the table. Although some of the scenarios and scenes are a tad unrealistic as I don’t think people’s real reactions would be the same as depicted in the movie but I suppose that’s a part of the charm of the movie as it’s able to make light of such seriousness and mix it with great tongue in cheek humour.

Overall, Moonstruck was a delightful little movie that is deserving of praise. The cast all performed amicably and I loved that the song “That’s Amore” both opened and closed the film, such a big fan of that song and it had a deeper meaning to go along with the movie. Definitely worth checking out.

8/10

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