Monday, August 12, 2013

175 of 1001 Movies: Moonstruck (1987)

Moonstruck is probably one of the cutest movies I've seen, and that is shocking for me to say since I didn't expect to find a movie with Cher and Nicholas Cage as the stars that I found cute. I like how simple the story is though, and how it never gets vulgar in any way. I wouldn't even label this a romantic comedy. While comedic in some ways, it seems to be just the story of a family's life that can also be looked into in one night when the moon is big and bright.

Summary: Loretta Castroni seems to be stuck in a rut. She is a book keeper from Brooklyn, New York who has agreed to marry the man that was a friend of her late husband. She doesn't seem to truly love him though, but she also doesn't want to be alone, and it seems the best option to marry the man who was close to the one you were married to before. The widow finds that her life is about to become very complicated though, when her fiance asks her to ask his brother to the wedding. They had a falling out, and he is still too scared to talk to him. When she goes to ask his brother though she discovers she have may feelings for the other brother though.

Acting: Cher was really surprising. She brought a lot of life and real feelings to Loretta. She seems to be a woman who is easy to relate to because she has come to a secure point in her life, and she has someone she believes she could marry again and trust. There is also something strong about Loretta and a bit of a loner. Nicholas Cage is the man she falls for, Ronny. Cage is a lot of fun in this role, and somehow makes some scenes very likable that feel they could be very serious if he had tried to play it too serious. He's sort of insane and does whatever so it's enjoyable to watch. There is also Olympia Dukkais as Loretta's mother, Rose. She was another stand out performance who I thought played her scene very gracefully and with a lot of class. I like how she doesn't conform to this modern day thought that if the other person is doing it, then you do it too to get them back. John Mahoney also makes several appearances in the movie as Perry, which add a nice element.

Filming: The movie has a really beautiful vibe that Norman Jewison creates with the moon and the characters story. The tie in to everything happening for the characters is on the night that the moon is very full, so while it looks mysterious and whimsical it is actually just at the heart of it the story the characters are creating on that day that leads into the night. I also like how the movie feel like a stage. It is as if we are watching everything play out in a very small area in the city. The director also captures the morning and night vibe very and making the city look beautiful.

Plot: The plot is one where you take a very typical woman, and place her in an almost fairy tale like situation, except when looking at it from far back it doesn't really seem like a fairy tale. She has fallen for sort of an oddball guy who is erratic, but unlike her current fiance he will actually stand up and fight for her. The movie is also a well made romance for couples because it never gets too cheesy. I think guys will like how Ronny isn't a prince charming, but he obviously cares for the woman he has fall for. I don't understand her attraction to the man she is engaged to, because he is a coward when approaching Loretta about being with her. Another nice tangled in story was Loretta's parents. I believe that while they have their problems, how her mom, Rose, deals with them is classy and respectful, and her dad's response still shows his love for her.

Moonstruck is a romantic comedy that works because it revolves around a common romantic idea, the full moon, and runs with it to make the whole setting for the characters. I like how several different stories are conveyed, and they tie back in to each other to feel like a cohesive movie as well. It's also not the typical romantic comedy because these people are no Harry and Sally. They don't look or fit the mold of typical leads, and they still portray their parts well.

Rating 8 of 10.

Moonstruck (1987) on IMDb

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