Movies: Moonstruck (1987)
Starring: Cher, Nicholas Cage, Olympia Dukakis, Danny Aiello,
Synopsis: Loretta is an Italian American widow who lives with her parents and her grandfather. One night, her boyfriend Johnny takes her out to dinner before he goes to Sicily to attend to his dying mother. At dinner he proposes to her. He asks her to plan the wedding while he’s in Sicily, and they’ll have it when he gets back (very romantic *eyeroll*) and also requests that she invite his estranged brother, Ronny to the wedding so that he can settle their differences once and for all.
Loretta believes that her first marriage was cut short (due to her husband’s death) by bad luck because she never had a wedding- just a simple city hall ceremony. So she tries to inject a bit of romance into her plans to marry Johnny- in spite of the fact that he’s not there. She goes to the bakery where Ronny works and invites him to the wedding as requested. She also learns the reason for his feud with Johnny. Ronny is upset to see her but eventually she convinces him to talk. The next thing she knows they’re in bed together.
In the morning she’s regretful but and tells Ronny she can’t see him again. He has fallen in love with her, but he agrees on one condition: that she accompany him to the opera that night. That will allow him one evening in his life in which he is able to share the thing he loves with the person he loves. She agrees.
She’s deeply moved by the performance of La Boheme that she sees, and upset when she catches her father at the opera with his mistress! This naturally upsets her and reminds her that she too has been unfaithful. But she’s caught: she’s committed herself to Johnny, but in spite of the fact that she’s trying not to, she’s falling in love with Ronny.
My Thoughts: This is a romance between Ronny and Loretta, but it’s also a movie about other couples. Loretta parents are having problems: her father is cheating on her mother. Her mother still loves her father and tells Loretta that it’s good that she doesn’t really love Johnny because “when you love them, they drive you crazy because they know they can”. We also see her mother have the opportunity to repay her father in kind. But will she? It’s hard to imagine Loretta and Johnny having any of these problems because it’s hard to imagine Loretta caring all that deeply if he does have an affair.
It’s also about family. Johnny and Ronny are family who have had a falling out. In trying to patch things up between them Loretta accidentally gives them reason for the falling out to be much worse! Johnny’s absence is due to his dying mother, who he refuses to tell about Loretta. That in itself says something about their relationship!
Loretta is a character who is ruled by her head. By profession she’s an accountant. She’s very used to adding things up and seeing how they balance. Yet in her love life she finds that hard. Johnny seems like the safe, dependable choice. He’s nice, financially stable, they get along well. There’s no reason not to marry other than the fact that she doesn’t love him. Meanwhile Ronny is passionate and impulsive. They argue- because they care about one another, unlike her and Johnny. As her mother says, they drive each other crazy, “because they can”.