Moonstruck on Easter


Happy Easter from Japan!  Things have been quite hectic here (as always), but we managed to get in Easter Dinner with a few friends.  And what Easter could truly be complete without a good dose of none other than Cher and Nicholas Cage?

I am most definitely NOT a lover of romantic comedies.  I love horror (NOT gore!), thriller, or dramas.  Romantic comedies rank pretty low on the list of movies I usually want to see, but Moonstruck is, without doubt, one of my favorite movies.  It won three Academy Awards in 1987, with Cher winning best actress.  I had never seen the movie until last year, but had heard that it had taken a few awards.

The plot is not overly-complicated.  It is not a grandiose piece.  It is a portrayal of an Italian-American family living in Brooklyn.  The first time I watched the movie, I was not completely moved.  It took me a second time to really begin to take things in; the beauty in this movie lies in its subtleties.  The basic story is as follows: Cher is a 37-year old widow named Loretta Castorini living with her parents in their Brooklyn townhouse.  Her father is a plumber and makes good money.  Loretta is proposed to by a respectable, albeit spineless, gentleman by the name of Johnny Cammareri.  Loretta isn’t head over heels for Johnny, but he is a respectable man with a job.  He says his mother (in Palermo, Italy) is dying, and he must tend to her before he can fully commit to Loretta and their relationship.  He also asks her to invite his brother, Ronnie, to their wedding.  Loretta agrees and telephones the bakery where Ronnie works.  She goes and finds that Ronnie is eccentric with a few screws loose; years earlier he was talking to his brother and became distracted while slicing bread, his hand subsequently getting sliced off.  He says his fiance at the time left him because he was then maimed, and he fully blames Johnny for the pain he incurred in his life afterward.  I would venture to say that the scene in the bakery is undoubtedly Nicholas Cage at the height of playing Nicholas Cage–it is absolutely fantastic.  It is so over-the-top, but it’s absolutely perfect!  


Loretta and Ronnie end up creating this passionate connection and the rest of the movie deals with the relationships among the different characters.  Loretta’s mother finds out her husband, Cosmo, is having an affair and proceeds to ask various men throughout the film, “Why do men chase women?”  Johnny gives her the answer she seeks, “Because they fear death.”  Again, this film is not monumental in its cinematography or by way of some epic story; it is a simple portrayal of human beings, but it is done so well that it forces you to go back and take a second, third look.  It’s a love story about people who find love in each other’s imperfections, and acceptance of those imperfections.  Ronnie says to Loretta after they go to the opera:

Loretta, I love you. Not like they told you love is,
and I didnt know this either, but love dont make things nice – it
ruins everything. It breaks your heart. It makes things a mess. We
arent here to make things perfect. The snowflakes are perfect. The
stars are perfect. Not us. Not us! We are here to ruin ourselves
and to break our hearts and love the wrong people and die.

Oh yeah, and it’s got a bit of opera in it too (and may be a modern-day opera of sorts).  You will definitely get a good laugh out of this one.  My personal favorite line is when Nicholas Cage picks up Cher and just screams, “SONOFABITCH!”  Definitely recommend Moonstruck for anyone looking for some laughs and a good story!

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