Director Norman Jewison set out to make an old-fashioned fairy tale of love at first sight in the manner of Lubitsch or Capra.
Moonstruck is set in the Italian section of New York and stars Cher as Loretta Castorini – a widowed accountant who accepts a proposal of marriage from dull businessman Johnny Cammareri (Danny Aiello) and then falls head over heels for his volatile baker brother, Ronny (Nicolas Cage).
Against a backdrop of steak and opera, Loretta lets Ronny carry her to bed, only to wake up the next morning, slap him in the face, tell him she’s never going to see him again, and then agree to go to the opera with him that night, so long as he doesn’t come to the wedding.
It’s the ultimate sexy complication, with Ronny laying down his feelings and Loretta (sort of) rebuffing them immediately.
Cher’s accent seems more located in Little Venice, California, than Little Italy, and the relentless emphasis on pasta and vino threatens to turn this romantic comedy into a compendium of clichés – but it charms nonetheless.
David S. Howard
John Christopher Jones
Louis Di Bianco