When Johnny Cammareri (Danny Aiello) goes to visit his dying mother in Sicily, he asks his long-term girlfriend Loretta (Cher) to contact his estranged brother Ronny (Nicolas Cage) and invite him to their upcoming wedding. Ronny, a hot-headed baker, turns out to be everything his brother is not, and soon he and his prospective sister-in-law are embarking on a passionate affair. Oscars were won by Cher, supporting actress Olympia Dukakis, and writer John Patrick Shanley.
Remember the outfit Cher wore to the Oscars when she won an Academy Award for her performance in this 1987 film? Ay-yi-yi. The actress' more retiring character in this infectious comedy leaps several psychological hurdles just giving her hair a permanent. But then the original screenplay of Moonstruck
, by John Patrick Shanley (Joe Versus the Volcano
), is a wonderful, gently satirical tale of an Italian-American family dealing with repression and dissatisfaction against a backdrop of cultural expectations. Cher is focused and funny as a widow who feels she should marry an older fellow (Danny Aiello), but then falls for his black-sheep brother (Nicolas Cage). Olympia Dukakis and Vincent Gardenia are perfect as her parents, and John Mahoney (of TV's Frasier
) has a memorable, small role as a middle-aged man on the make who gets a lecture from Dukakis's character. Shanley's dialogue is comically stylised in a way that makes one appreciate how much words can inform an actor's performance. Taking its cues from him and director Norman Jewison (And Justice for All
), the cast immerse themselves in a pool of hilariously operatic emotion. --Tom Keogh
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.