What's the fuss over Nicolas Cage? Experience the epiphany in Moonstruck. An uninhibited Nic unwinds the uptight Cher in this unfettered farce about Italian families living the vita loca in Brooklyn.
The moon is the mortar, the motivator, the troublemaker, the revelator, and the liberator. Whether lighting the sky, igniting libidos or casting shadows on sweethearts, it connects all kinds of plots and subplots: storylines about weary love, dreary love, alluring love, enduring love and Cher's conversion from passive love to passionate lover.
To embellish the sentiment, Dean Martin's "the moon-a hits your eye like-a big-a pizz-a pie" lights up the soundtrack and lingers in the afterglow of Cher and Nic's comedic chemistry.
A widower, the languid Loretta Castorini (Cher), lives with her parents (a la Italian tradition) with no anticipation or aspiration to do otherwise - until she accepts an unexpected proposal of marriage from a quasi-dormant Johnny Cammareri (Danny Aiello). But a wake-up call from his combustible brother, baker Ronny Cammareri (Cage) rouses and arouses Loretta. 'Nuf said.
Actors Cage, Vincent Gardenia, Danny Aiello and Julie Bovasso lend their ancestral authenticity to the story, while other fine actors convincingly convert their familial ethnicity to Italian American.
Cher translates her Armenian/Indian/Etcetera heritage into Italiano while Olympia Dukakis makes the Grecia-cum-Italia transition in style.
Speaking of cultural twists and switches, Moonstruck won the Japanese "Academy Award" for best foreign film!
Actually, the bigger surprise is that this romantic comedy won three Academy Awards (screenwriter John Patrick Shanley, Cher and Dukakis) and was nominated for three more. Surprising because while romantic comedies might succeed at the box office, they rarely garner attention from the Academy.
Sometimes the Oscars highlight films worth seeing. And, as in this case, sometimes they highlight films worth seeing twice.
Shanley, the Irish-American who wrote the screenplay, envied the greener grass of Italian family life and liveliness in his New York City borough. As he explains in the Extras, his engaging neighbors inspired the movie.
Where the Extras on movie revivals lack the volume of info generated for the purpose of a Blu-ray release, the material benefits from the perspective of passing time. The interviews often offer a historic look/see by the now more mature principals.
Of the two leads who continue their marquee careers, only Cher joined Jewison and Shanley for the feature length commentary.
Ironically, at the "Heart of an Italian Family" Aiello is joined by four non-Italian cast members, (Director Jewison, writer Shanley, Dukakis and Mahoney).
Music and Italian food (opera aficionado Ronny bakes bread) close out the Extras. Since singing or supping are entwined with every thread of the stories, how appropriate to explore them in the finale of the Blu-ray.
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment & MGM Home Entertainment
Director: Norman Jewison
Cast: Cher, Nicolas Cage, Olympia Dukakis, Vincent Gardenia, Danny Aiello, Julie Bovasso, John Mahoney, Louis Guss, Feodor Chaliapin Jr., Anita Gillette