Saturday, November 16, 2013

Moonstruck Strikes Gold

Movie Review: Moonstruck

Director: Norman Jewison

Reviewed: 13 November 2013

jamesintexas rating--***1/2

Moonstruck features an all-star cast and a sweet heart; Norman Jewison's comedy featuring an Italian-American family's struggles with love. Cher stars as Loretta, a widowed bookkeeper engaged to the bumbling Johnny (Danny Aiello). Loretta lives with her mom and dad (Olympia Dukakis and Vincent Manelli), and when Johnny leaves for Italy to comfort his dying mother, he asks Loretta to make peace with his estranged brother Ronny (Nicolas Cage) and invite him to their wedding. Chaos (and love) ensues.

Cher and Cage are standouts, and their storyline is one that I wished had more to it. The film shows Loretta's transformation as she falls in love, and the parallel storylines with her unhappy parents provide  a nice counterpoint. The final scene is a standout, and screenwriter John Patrick Shanley's script works everything together in grand comedic fashion. The film feels lived-in and authentic with a sort of Greek chorus provided by the grandfather who lives upstairs and walks his five dogs. The film is concerned with love and its messiness and its complications, and it is rather glorious in what it does.

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