Quick recap: Loretta Castorini is engaged to mild mannered Johnny and that’s cool and all until Ronny (played by Nicholas Cage) steps into the picture and she falls in love with him. Also, Loretta’s father is cheating on her mother and there’s a part about being cursed and then [insert every Italian stereotype here].
Fun (?) fact: No one really wanted Nicholas Cage in the movie except for Cher, who threatened to walk out if he wasn’t hired.
My thoughts: Romantic Comedy. Two words that, when put together, can strike fear into any sane person. Add to that, Moonstruck is a romantic comedy starring Cher. I knew I was in for a rough night.
As mentioned above, this is the movie should’ve won some sort of Guinness World Record for most Italian stereotypes crammed into 90 minutes. When the characters weren’t making dramatic hand gestures or using a thick Italian accent, stereotypical Italian music could be heard in the background. Another fun fact: the original opening played the score from ‘La Boheme’, but testing audiences felt like they were being roped into an art house film and we wouldn’t want that, of course. So instead, the crew went in the opposite direction and chose ‘That’s Amore’ so that you wouldn’t forget your were watching a movie about an Italian-American family, even for a second.
That’s not to say I found anything wrong with being so heavy on the Italian references. I’m sure there were families all over the US that related perfectly to the characters, but it wasn’t something I was all that familiar with. Watching Moonstruck felt like taking one of those Buzzfeed quizzes that I stumble upon at 3 in the morning, unable to sleep. Could be something like, ‘Which English boarding school best describes your personality?’ or ‘How many of these indigenous beetles did you encounter in your trek across Africa in the 1930s?’ Either way, I felt left out.
As for the plot, it was a little confusing. Not confusing in the sense that it was hard to understand because come on, Nicholas Cage is one of the main actors. More confusing in its message. The film centers around Loretta cheating on Johnny with his brother Ronny. We are supposed to root for her, especially when she does the romantic comedy makeover trope. When Johnny comes over at the end of the film to break off his marriage, that is supposed to signal that they all lived happily ever after. That’s all well and good until you factor in Loretta’s father, Cosmo. He too is cheating, but this is a bad thing for some reason. Maybe because he has been married for so long? He and his wife don’t seem to get along very well and maybe he could’ve found true love, just like Loretta did with Ronny. The wife, Rose, also briefly considered a fling with a handsome professor but at the last minute backed off and went home to a man who’s feelings had obviously changed. It was more depressing than romantic or comedic at that point.
Final review: 2/5 I knew I was in trouble when I found myself fully relying on Nicholas Cage to get me through this movie. And he certainly did.
Up next: L’Age d’or