I saw first saw Moonstruck when it released 25 years ago and just adored it. While I am a sucker for romantic comedies of any type, what a joy it was to watch a film about Italians that did not involve guns, back room deals, or kisses of death planted on unsuspecting lips. (Unless you count Nicolas Cage catching Cher completely off-guard with that first smooch.)
I watched it again recently on Netflix, and to my utter and complete satisfaction, it still held up for me. I love that Cher's character, Loretta Castorini, is an older heroine. She's had one love in her life and approaches her engagement pragmatically instead of romantically. She's unprepared for the passion that Cage's character, Ronnie, inspires at their first meeting, but gets swept up in it anyway, throwing her usual caution right out Ronnie's bedroom window.
Aside from the warm jolts of recognition this movie provides me--the family table, the dutiful Italian daughter, and the humor that informs every scene--I like what it has to say about love. In a departure from most rom-coms, which follow a storybook formula, this movie tells it like it is. In Ronnie's words:
"Love don't make things nice - it ruins everything. It breaks your heart. It makes things a mess. We aren't here to make things perfect. The snowflakes are perfect. The stars are perfect. Not us. Not us! We are here to ruin ourselves and to break our hearts and love the wrong people and die."
É vero, no? Here's to getting moonstruck, at least once in life, in all its messy and imperfect glory.