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Moonstruck (DE)
DVD disk
Apr 18, 2006 By: Scott Weinberg
Moonstruck (DE) order
Director:
Norman Jewison

Actors:
Cher
Nicolas Cage
Olympia Dukakis

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A 37-year-old widow falls madly in love with her meek fiancee's wild-eyed brother.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
If you're ever in the mood for a movie that makes a meal out of dialogue, give MOONSTRUCK a revisit. The simple story of one Italian family and the various romance-related entanglements they must suffer through, it's a movie packed to the rafters with crisp conversations, casually humorous gags, and enough Italian-American color to power 11 high-end pizzerias.

As a woman nearing middle age and semi-desperate for a husband, Cher is a real joy here, but MOONSTRUCK is a true ensemble piece, so leave a little room for Olympia Dukakis' sarcastic mama, Vincent Gardenia's overwrought pop, Danny Aiello's mama's-boy goof, and Nicolas Cage's colorfully smitten kook.

Nominated for six Oscars and the winner of 3 (for Cher, Dukakis, and John Patrick Shanley's sweetly insightful screenplay), MOONSTRUCK is a funny little ensemble piece that still holds up pretty darn well after almost 20 years.

THE EXTRAS
First up is a feature-length audio commentary with director Norman Jewison, screenwriter John Patrick Shanley, and leading lady Cher. The participants seem to have been recorded separately, which isn't my favorite sort of chat-track, but fans of the flick will most certainly find some fun in this commentary.

Moonstruck: At the Heart of an Italian Family is a cool little 25-minute featurette that offers new interviews with director Jewison, screenwriter Shanley, actors Olympia Dukakis, John Mahoney, and Danny Aiello, and a whole bunch of "normal Joe and Jane" Italian families who stop by to share some of their marriage tales.

Pastas to Pastries: The Art of Fine Italian Food is hosted by Mark DeCarlo and takes us on a brief tour of NYC's Little Italy and its most memorable restaurants. Click through spots like Grotta Azzurra, Ferrara Pastries, Piemonte Ravioli Co., and a few others. (My advice is to eat something before -- or during -- this featurette.)

Music of Moonstruck is a 6-minute featurette in which filmmaker Dick Hyman (along with Jewison, Shanley, etc.) discusses the importance and employment of music MOONSTRUCK.

FINAL DIAGNOSIS
MOONSTRUCK feels a lot like a movie based on a play, what with the chat-heavy exchanges and the three or four central locations -- but a good play all the same, and one that made the leap to the silver screen with a good deal of wit, energy, and warmth.
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