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USA 1987
Directed by
Norman Jewison
102 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2 stars


If you missed the opening credits of this film you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d walked into a Woody Allen movie, a kind of Italo-American version of Radio Days (which was released the same year) only set in Brooklyn rather than Coney Island and even lifting Gina DeAngelis's character from Broadway Danny Rose. All the elements are there - the interpersonal ups and downs of an extended working class family, the New York backdrops, the jaunty vintage pop soundtrack  - the significant differences are that it lacks Allen’s quickfire wit and lays on the sentimentality with a trowel. 

Nicolas Cage, coming off the back of his truly awful performance in Peggy Sue Got Married is nearly as ill-suited to his role as he was in that film but the rest of the cast fill out the ethnic and class stereotypes effectively with Cher, winning the Best Actress Oscar for her role as Loretta Castorini, a widow in her late 30s who finds love with the brother (Cage) of her fiancé (Danny Aiello), and Olympia Dukakis taking home the Best Supporting Actress as her mother

Although winning the Best Original Script Academy Award for John Patrick Stanley and nominated for Best Picture and Best Director (both Oscars went to Bernardo Bertolucci for The Last Emperor), Moonstruck is a purposefully lightweight affair with Jewison dragging proceedings from the feel-good to the mawkish in order to guarantee middle-of-the-road approbation.




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