A loud, coarse, melodramatic romantic comedy, Moonstruck is forced, artificial, and bereft of genuine humor or warmth. It’s an atrocity that only a robot programmed to do so might enjoy.
Believing she is cursed (and looking witchy enough to prove the point), Loretta Castorini, a widowed Brooklyn bookkeeper who feels that her first marriage was doomed because it wasn’t launched at a Roman Catholic ceremony, wants everything to go right in her impending marriage to Johnny Cammareri, whom she doesn’t love—but she loved her first husband, and look how that turned out. Meanwhile, she meets her future brother-in-law, Ronny, and falls in love with him, as he does with her. Ronny, who lost his hand in a grinder because (he feels) Johnny distracted his attention at work, has been estranged from Johnny for five years now, but Johnny wants him at the wedding. Meanwhile, Loretta’s father is cheating on her mother, Rose, because he is afraid to die. Or at least that’s how Rose explains it.
There isn’t a single laugh, or a single interesting shot, in this moronic film. Cher, who won an Oscar for her crude, insipid performance, plays Loretta. Prior to what is supposed to be her final date with Ronny (at the Metropolitan Opera House), Loretta enters the Cinderella Beauty Shop (get it?) and emerges looking like Cher, a glamorous diva that no bookkeeper has ever looked like. This signals the film’s utter contempt for its audience, as do the post-script insertions of shots of the full moon to suggest Shakespearean romantic magic. There’s no chemistry between Cher and Nicolas Cage, who plays Ronny. Only one character suggests the faintest connection to reality: Cosmo’s elderly father, played by Feodor Chaliapin, Jr., son of the opera luminary and of Pabst’s Don Quixote (1933).
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