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Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat


Directed by Norman Jewison
MGM Home Entertainment 12/87 DVD/VHS Feature Film

The characters in this wonderful comedy all believe they are in control of their lives until, as screenwriter John Patrick Shanley puts it, "a mischievous moon appears over New York and iluminates new passions within them." With humanism and humor, he offers us a marvelously entertaining glimpse of love and betrayal in two Italian families.

First, there is Loretta Castorini (Cher), a dowdy 37-year-old widow who lives in Brooklyn with her parents and works as a part-time accountant. She's proof of the old adage that life happens to you while you're making other plans. Grabbing what she thinks is her only hope for marriage and motherhood, she has become engaged to Johnny (Danny Aiello), a nice but weak-willed 42-year-old bachelor. While he is in Italy, she tracks down his brother Ronny (Nicholas Cage) to invite him to the wedding. This wildly passionate man sweeps Loretta off her feet and into his bed, turning her plans upside down in the process.

Meanwhile, other members of the family are struck by the light of the moon. Olympia Dukakis as Loretta's mother Rose discovers that her plumber husband (Vincent Gardenia) is having an affair. Loretta's aunt (Julie Bovasso) and uncle (Louis Guss) turn into lovebirds. From the opening credits when Dean Martin croons "Amore" to the closing scene in which the Castorini family gathers in the kitchen to sort out their romantic adventures, this film explores the different shades of love in hilarious and endearing ways.

Special DVD features include: audio commentaries by star Cher, director Norman Jewison, and screenwriter John Patrick Shanley; and the original theatrical trailer.


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Reviews and database copyright 1970 2012
by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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