Does new love always make us look as foolish as we may be feeling on the inside? Can the moon really influence us, especially when we fall in love? Perhaps
Both of these concepts have certainly come up before when romance and love are the topics.
Lovers meet by the light of the moon, George Bailey offered to lasso the moon as a present for his love in It's a Wonderful Life, and all the antics of a Midsummer Night's Dream occur beneath the impassive face of this atmospherical benefactor to the lovelorn. Hearts swollen with love are often inspired to heroic actions as well as irrational ones, and the Moon has figured well in the affairs of love quite probably since it first appeared in our skies.
Loretta Castorini (Cher) threw caution to the wind once, defied family, flouted tradition, and ran off to marry for love in a courtroom rather than a church. Rather unfortunate that her foolish swain was taken out by a speeding bus, leaving Loretta a disillusioned widow at an early age. Loretta believes that because she did not acquire the approval of her stereotypical Italian-American family and didnt get married in a church, this brought her bad luck where love is concerned. As Benedict says in Much Ado About Nothing, Love is a giddy thing and Loretta leaves giddiness behind at the grave of her husband.
She is determined to do everything right this time by marrying Johnny Cammareri (Danny Aeillo) for stability and security rather than something as uncertain as love. She insists that all traditions be adhered to right down to the bended knee during the proposal. Johnny is called away the very next day to Italy to attend his mothers deathbed, which does not sooth Lorettas mind.
She is further ruffled when Johnny asks her to try to patch things up between he and Ronny (Nicholas Cage), his long estranged brother. While she agrees that bad blood should not keep his brother from coming to their wedding, this bombshell Johnny drops in her lap at the last minute does not bode well for a change in Lorettas luck. Boy, is she right!
Threaded through the love triangle that develops between Ronny, Johnny, and Loretta, we are also given the story of her parents romance and its present sorry state. Mrs. Castorini (Olympia Dukakas) is sure that Cosmo has been cheating on her, and she spends much of the film asking men why They think that men cheat. She receives some very amusing answers, although it seems that nobody agrees with Her opinion on the matter.
Olympia is simply marvelous in this role and had me rolling with her dry observations. Do you love him, Loretta? she asks. Yeah, Ma, I love him something awful. Loretta replies. Oh, thats too bad. Mrs. C shakes her head in commiseration.
It is Cosmos brother-in-law who tells us about the enormous and magical moon that appeared one night during his sisters courtship. Drawn to the window, he found Cosmo in the yard gazing up at her window, and for years he believed that Cosmos great love called up that amazing moon that woke him from his blissful slumber so long ago. Cosmos moon returns to hang over Loretta and work its magic upon all the lovers in Brooklyn.
The notion that true love swelling in the hearts of new lovers could draw down a moon of such splendor is a lovely and apt metaphor, which left me with the feeling that this was more than a story about two people falling in love. Perhaps it was really a tale exploring the intricate facets of love and the magic that love makes possible.
Viewers might frown at the excessive nature of this film as everything feels just a little too extreme, a bit too unlikely, or stereotypical (the family dynamics of the Castorinis for example!). Yet the sheer beauty, inner and outer, that unfolds before us is a powerful inspiration to deny the improbable. To me, that is as close as a film can hope to come when trying to define love and a great reason to give this film a try. My recommendation is to throw open your curtains, let your heart swell, and howl at the moon. Love, is indeed, a giddy thing.
Viewing Format: VHS
Video Occasion: Good Date Movie
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older
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