The year was 1987. It was a time when movie-going audiences were still taking Cher seriously as an actress (or they were trying to, at least) and had not yet begun to dread the appearance or very mention of a certain up-and-coming young actor named Nicolas Cage. It was also a period in cinematic history wherein the romantic comedy (or “rom-com” as we have come to dub them in recent years) still had a little zest going for it — long before the recipe for such genre titles had become terribly stale and familiar.
Sure, Norman Jewison’s award-winning romantic dramedy Moonstruck may not have benefited from any scenes of John Cusack holding up a boombox in order for it to become a quintessential ‘80s classic with the modern hipsters. To tell you the truth, I wonder if the hipsters of today have even looked at this film. Nevertheless, the movie managed to find an audience of its own (not just the folks at the Academy, mind you) — and is highly appreciated to this day for its fantastic performances, near-legendary story, and the fact that Nic Cage’s forehead hadn’t yet taken over its host organism.
Our story here tells of a Brooklyn bookkeeper in her late-thirties named Loretta Castorini (Cher). Loretta’s hubby was killed in a tragic bus accident several years ago, and she has been living a life of near-isolation ever since with her folks (Olympia Dukakis and Vincent Gardenia, who are nothing short of superb here). Although she’s still a young lass as far as the clock is concerned (hey, thirty-some-odd years isn’t that old), Loretta is convinced that she should get married again before she winds up getting any older, to wit she agrees to marry the kind (and middle-aged) Johnny Cammareri (the great Danny Aiello).
She’s also certain that her previous marriage ended badly because of a curse.
OK, so she has some problems. But who doesn’t, eh?
So, anyway, Loretta is determined to make this holy union curse-free by having it be “holy” to start with (he first marriage was performed at City Hall, away from the approving eyes of that omnipotent God) — even though she has no truly genuine feelings for her groom-to-be. With their engagement set in stone, Johnny has to take an unexpected detour over to the old country (Sicily) to attend to his dying mum. He also asks an unusual errand from his betrothed: to invite his estranged younger brother, Ronny, to their wedding.