Film Review: Moonstruck

Lucy Goldsmith


****

Moonstruck ed 1
BFI

Italian-American charisma – or is it campiness? – floods this six-time Oscar nominated romantic comedy from the 80s about the cosmic draw of love, bathing otherwise average domestic scenes of family life in New York’s winter in a silvery –and cosy – charm. Cher shines as the sharp-witted Loretta, who, aged by too many years as a widow, convinces herself to be contentedly engaged to the dull best friend of her deceased husband. That is, until she meets his tempestuous younger brother, Ronny (a young, brilliant and surprisingly Ryan Gosling-esque Nicolas Cage). As the full moon waxes, personality clashes transform into passion and we see the two fall head over heels for each other. Predictable as director Norman Jewison’s tale may be, his communication of love’s supernatural ability to eclipse the raw human experience of a wounded soul feels genuine. It’s almost a shame that this film never gained a cult following, for although not an artistic masterpiece it refrains from becoming romantic mush by truthfully capturing the chaotic – and farcical – clash of when love ‘meets the parents’. It’s some consolation then that the lead actors are still household names: Cher as a deity of both twitter and drag queens everywhere, and Cage as one of the internet generation’s oldest and most beloved memes.

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