Sunday, July 11, 2010


Ronny: What’s that smell?
Loretta: I’m making you a steak.
Ronny: I don’t want it.
Loretta: You’ll eat it.
Ronny: I like it well done.
Loretta: You’ll eat this one bloody, it’ll feed your blood.

Rose: Old man, you give those dogs another piece of my food, I’m gonna kick you till you’re dead.

Johnny: There’s been a miracle.
Rose: A miracle. Well, that’s news.
Johnny: My mother’s recovered.
Rose: You’re kidding.
Johnny: Oh, no. The breath had almost totally left her body. She was as white as snow. And then, she completely pulled back from death. And stood up. And put on her clothes. And began to cook for everyone in the house—the mourners, and me, and herself—she ate a meal that could choke a pig.
Rose: That’s incredible.

Films about Italian American families always feature family conflicts, “operatic” drama, and good food, and Moonstruck follows this formula to award-winning success. Loretta (Cher) lives with her parents in their Brooklyn townhouse, working as a bookkeeper and waiting for her boyfriend, Johnny (Aiello), to propose matrimony. He finally does, and she accepts, though for her it will be a marriage of safety, not love. When Johnny flies to Sicily to be at his mother’s deathbed, he asks Loretta to go see his estranged brother, Ronny (Cage), who bakes bread in the family bakery. She complies, finding that Ronny is so much more than she ever expected—and everything she wants in a man.
Over the course of the film, the viewer vicariously experiences some very hearty Brooklyn Italian dishes: steak and spaghetti, ravioli, sausage and peppers, green salad, minestrone. A viewer’s favorite is the champagne, sweetened with a cube of sugar to make it fizz. What is shown most appealingly, however, is the breakfast, prepared as follows : slice Italian bread, make a hole in the center of each slice, then place them in a frying pan with melted butter; place an egg in the hole of each and fry until the egg is cooked to taste; serve with fried red peppers on top—not to mention with a side order of Italian-style family love.

Released 1987
Directed by Norman Jewison
Written by John Patrick Shanley
Starring Cher as Loretta Castorini, Nicholas Cage as Ronny Cammareri, Vincent Gardenia as Cosmo Castorini, Olympia Dukakis as Rose Castorini, Danny Aiello as Johnny Cammareri, Julie Bovasso as Rita Cappomaggi, Louis Guss as Raymond Cappomaggi, John Mahoney as Perry, Feodor Chaliapin Jr. as Old Man, and Anita Gillette as Mona
Awards: 1989 ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards for Top Box Office Film; 1988 Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Cher), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Dukakis), and Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen; 1988 American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Female Performer-Motion Picture or TV (Dukakis); 1989 BAFTA Film Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Dukakis); 1988 Berlin International Film Festival Silver Berlin Bear for Best Director; 1988 Casting Society of America Artios for Best Casting for Feature Film, Comedy; 1988 David di Donatello Award for Best Foreign Actress (Cher); 1988 Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture-Comedy/Musical (Cher) and Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Dukakis); 1988 Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists Silver Ribbon for Best Actress-Foreign Film (Cher); 1988 Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards for Best Actress (Cher), Best Film, and Best Supporting Actress (Dukakis); Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress (Dukakis); 1987 National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress (Dukakis); and 1988 Writers Guild of America Award for Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen


Katie said...

Definitely one of my favorite movies EVER!!!

Christina said...

I love that movie!