Moonstruck (1987)

by George Watches Things

***½

Wait… Nicolas Cage can act?

I did not enjoy Being John Malkovich (you can read all about that here). It tried some things and it failed at most of those things. I kept waiting for it to recover, but it never did.

(Okay… movie reviewing 101: If someone plants a different movie title in the beginning of a review, he/she/it is planning on relating the movie they are reviewing back to that film later, hopefully leaving you in awe.)

Let me sum up Moonstruck for you: Cher (character name Loretta) is in a restaurant. She gets proposed to by Danny Aiello (Johnny). They get engaged, but he leaves to tend to his dying mother in Italia. Loretta/Cher is tasked with asking Johnny/Aiello’s brother, Nicolas Cage‘s Ronny, to attend their wedding. You guessed it. Loretta and Ronny fall in love.

I completely bought Loretta and Ronny. The scene they have together in his apartment is so predictable, but in a sweet, funny, and comfortable way. And it was interesting how Johnny left before we got to know him too well. We end up liking Ronny more that way.

Being John Malkovich doesn’t really get character interactions right. John Malkovich is very funny with everybody, but the rest of the characters feel like they’re holding something back. It made me very uneasy. Moonstruck, on the other hand, is light and happy.

Moonstruck makes the darker comedy funny. Being John Malkovich makes it seem like the writers were on drugs while they wrote it. And not happy drugs. Bad drugs. Shoot yourself in the face drugs. It’s not that I only like happy movies, but Moonstruck has this joyful attitude, even in the face of adversity.

Notes:

  • “I don’t believe in curses.” “Neither do I.”
  • “That was so awful!” “Awful?” “Beautiful.”
  • “I don’t care if you burn in hell… I love you.”
  • “How much?” “Twenty-five.” “Dollars?!?!”
  • “A miracle? Well that’s news!”
  • “She ate a meal that could choke a pig.”
  • “I’ll say no more.” “You haven’t said anything!” “I know. And that’s the point.”
  • “We never suspected you!”
  • “Do you love him, Loretta?” “Ma, I love him awful.” “Ah, that’s too bad.”
  • “What’s the matter, Pa?” “I’m confused.”
  • I really liked the Cappomaggis.
  • At the end of the movie, all the characters and storylines converged at once at the breakfast table. At first, it felt a little forced and convenient, but then the humor began, and I really enjoyed it.
  • If you see and enjoy Moonstruck, you might also want to check out Bringing Up Baby and Up.
  • Next time: another 70s poll!
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