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Moonstruck []



Norman Jewison’s Moonstruck is a film that’s been on cable television throughout much of my life, sitting on the shelves of various video stores and more recently, hanging out in the Forbes Library.  The box artwork featuring Cher with her outstretched arms has always rubbed me the wrong way, perhaps signalling some sort of a cheeseball factor.
Recently I read an interview with director Wes Anderson where he discussed his favorite New York films and to my surprise Moonstruck made the cut.  Jewison, who was a mentor to Hal Ashby, directs a delightful, modern day fairy tale filled with comedy, romance, beautiful and subtle camera work, brilliant character actor performances and just the right amount of nostalgia.  Also standing out is the pitch-perfect dialog.  John Patrick Shanley (other credits include Joe Vs. the Volcano and Doubt) creates a somewhat realistic family unit that is forever bickering with one another.
The story: Loretta (Cher), who has recently agreed to marry Johnny (Danny Aielo), is asked to track down her fiance’s estranged brother Ronny (Nicholas Cage) and invite him to their upcoming wedding.  While Johnny is in Italy tending to his ailing mother, Loretta and Ronny wind up having an intense love affair.  Chaos ensues!!!  We also have Olympia Dukakis, Vincent Gardenia and John Mahoney in memorable supporting roles.
They say you can’t judge a book by its cover… and I think I’m now learning that you also shouldn’t judge a film by it’s DVD or VHS artwork!

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