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Classic Film Junkie: Moonstruck

February 5, 2011

Usually I find most 80’s movies cheesy and wouldn’t count them as essentials, but “Moonstruck” is definitely a classic. Especially with Valentines Day coming up, I always need a film that snaps me back from the fakeness of “Romantic-Comedies”.

Even though “Moonstruck” is essentially a romance story, and  has comedy in it, I would call it something else. It stars Cher (who looks amazing and radiant whether it’s all her real face or not) , and a very young Nicholas Cage who I typically can’t stand in movies… (Seriously, how is a man his age still getting starring roles in blockbusters?) However in this movie, it works so well! The whole thing plays out dramatically like an opera.

Cher plays Loretta Castorini, a 30-something widow who believes she is cursed with bad luck, and who has just become engaged to a complete schmuck who she doesn’t love, Johnny Camarreri. However, before they can marry, Johnny asks Loretta to speak to her brother, Ronny (Nicholas Cage), and invite him to the wedding to settle the “bad blood” between them. But when they meet, something passionate and animal takes over and they end up in bed together. Loretta realizes this can’t happen, but before Ronny can let her go, he asks her to the Opera to see La Boheme.

There are a few other smaller love stories between older couples going on at the same time, which at times seem a bit more interesting. My absolute favorite character is Loretta’s mother Rose, played by Olympia Dukakis.

After finding out that her husband Cosmo is cheating on her, she asks several men “why do men chase women?”, when she finally gets the answer she wants “because they fear death”, she confronts her husband by telling him: “Cosmo I want you to know that no matter what you do you’re gunna die, just like everybody else…”

I truly love this movie, for all its quirkiness and subtle approach. Its funny, but not too slap-stick. Its romantic, but not unbelievable. It’s a film about truth, and the way that love is not always beautiful, and never perfect. In fact, its downright miserable almost all of the time. 😉

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