The couple swap. So this about a young woman in New York (Cher). She finds herself in a precarious position when she inexplicably falls for her fiancé’s brother (Nicolas Cage) while her soon-to-be husband is out of town. This was a movie I was familiar with in title only. I’ve seen it pop up on occasion, I recognize the cover, but I knew nothing about the subject matter. Being that it is on this 1,001 list, and also being that my friend needed to watch this to add commentary on a Nicolas Cage podcast (a concept that tickles me tremendously), it was now my time to watch 1987’s Moonstruck.
I don’t want to call this the quintessential rom-com, because that honor goes to When Harry Met Sally, but I will say that if someone were to use the words “romantic” and “comedy” together, chances are that this is the movie that you’re imagining in your head, regardless if you’ve seen it or not. Given that I had no prior knowledge of this film, I never knew how much My Big Fat Greek Wedding is a carbon copy of this. Seriously, it’s shameless: you have ethnic stereotypes, a family that is filled with eccentricities, and it is focused on events surrounding a wedding. It’s been quite a long time since I’ve watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding, but on paper, Moonstruck makes me like that film a whole lot less.
Now I judge comedies on how much fun I have, and Moonstruck is a good one. It’s super light and filled with stereotypes, but that is a part of its charm. For not really having an acting background, Cher does a really good job. Maybe not Oscar worthy good like is the case (winning over a Fatal Attraction Glenn Close? Pfft.). I liked the oddball chemistry between her and Cage, and speaking of Nicolas Cage, he is in classic unhinged form for the majority of this, and it is hilarious. He has one of the best “we’re going to bed” lines of all time, and that ended up being my biggest takeaway from this. Now to touch upon my biggest problem with this, I do think this could have been cut down quite a bit; I found myself being much more interested in the core story between Cher and Cage, but this is an ensemble piece, so you get the entire family’s story. I could have personally done with less of that, but that is just me, and I do realize that not everybody is going to feel that way. For what this is doing though, I think it’s a good time.
Moonstruck (1987) ***1/2
– Critic for Hire