• TOP NOTCH (my top choices)
• HONORABLE MENTION (well worth watching)
• YOU MIGHT WANT TO CONSIDER (I like them but you might not)
• CLASSICS (Great movies up through the 1960s - many don't have any rating)

  Cher, Nicolas Cage, Olympia Dukakis   

Summary -  Loretta Castorini, a book keeper from Brooklyn, New York, finds herself in a difficult situation when she falls for the brother of the man she has agreed to marry.

Cautions - Some thematic elements surrounding infidelity

Commentary - Nominated for six Academy Awards including, best picture and director, and winning for best actress, supporting actress and writing, Moonstruck is a stand-out film.

Review by Michael Reuben
Moonstruck set the standard by which all subsequent tales of ethnic family life (other than mob stories) must be measured. Its successful blend of romance, drama, comedy and operatic fable has never been fully equaled, not that others haven't tried. John Patrick Shanley's Oscar-winning script was unlike anything anyone had ever seen (and Shanley's subsequent attempts to replicate Moonstruck's odd mixture of passion and whimsy in The January Man and Joe Versus the Volcano foundered so badly that he largely abandoned Hollywood). Norman Jewison's Oscar-nominated direction looked so effortless that it's only when you step back and consider all the missteps Jewison avoided that you realize what a miracle he pulled off.

Moonstruck won well-deserved acting Oscars for Olympia Dukakis and Cher. In Moonstruck, Cher disappears into the part of Loretta Castorini, the no-nonsense Brooklyn bookkeeper who believes that love has passed her by, until one day it knocks her flat.

Moonstruck has a distinctive tone and tempo, and one can only marvel at how director Jewison sustains both without missing a beat for the film's entire running time.

The funniest moments in Moonstruck arise from the intense seriousness with which characters take matters that are utterly absurd. Whether it's Loretta insisting to Ronny that they have to pretend nothing has happened ("Snap out of it!"), or Rose doggedly quizzing people on why men chase women (she's already decided on the answer), or Johnny explaining why he's returned from Sicily (which I'll leave for first-time viewers to discover), or Cosmo telling his daughter not to get married ("Again?") -- every character in Moonstruck commits with every fiber of their being to whatever they're saying. Shanley has commented that the people who make the most sense in the world bore him, but one of the subversive lessons of Moonstruck is that holding on tightly to the people we love in this short life, no matter how irrational it may seem at the time, is really one of the most sensible things that anyone can do.


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