I love the movie, Moonstruck.
And I love this movie for so many reasons. I love the story, the cast, the direction, and also the fact that it takes place in and around my favorite city on the east coast. Additionally, this film highlights some of the music from my favorite Puccini opera, La Boheme.
Moonstruck is without a doubt the most brilliant depiction of what it’s like to be part of an Italian-American family. It's PASSIONATE.
And what’s really ironic is that the screenwriter, John Patrick Shanley, comes from an Irish-American background, but has always held an affinity for all things Italian.
Every time I watch this film, I can actually feel myself inside the home of the Castorini’s having an acute olfactory sense memory of tomato sauce with garlic simmering on the stove. The house itself reminds me of the home in which my biological mother’s side of the family grew up in. Everything down to the old family photos sitting amongst the half full Chianti wine bottles, to the hand crochet dolies draped over the backs of the living room chairs. The house in this film truly reflects an Italian residence.
This is a film you can literally TASTE with all your senses.
Not only is Moonstruck a humorous, touching and charming tale that weaves three love stories together due to a night of a full moon, but it also gives an accurate underlining example of how the wife of an Italian household is a matriarch.
In many Italian families, it’s the wife who takes care of the family jewels. The husband may THINK he does because he owns the testicles, but it’s the wife who HOLDS them.
And trust me, back when I was a kid, on both sides of my family it was the women who ruled the roost.
But I have to tell you, it worked for them. Because the husbands were happy just going to work and bringing home the bacon and paying the bills; playing cards and smoking cigars with their Italian buddies on the weekends, while the wife took care of everything else. And that included most of the decision making.
Even though I thoroughly enjoy each and every character in this movie, the role of wife/mother Rose Castorini (portrayed by Olympia Dukakis) is my favorite. She flawlessly embodies her character; showing us every little nuance of serious concern over her husbands’ extramarital affair, but also garnishes it with humor. I also think the character of Rose has some of the best lines in the film.
She wonders, “Why do men chase women? And why do men need more than one woman?”
Only to discover it’s because they fear DEATH.
In the final scene, in front of the whole family, Rose confronts her husband telling him that she knows of his infidelity, sternly saying, “I want you to stop seeing her, Cosmo.”
Whereupon, Cosmo stands up, takes both his hands and SLAMS them down on the kitchen table, saying, “O-kay.”
Then Rose says, “And go to confession.”
That’s all she had to say, and the problem was solved.
Because she was the matriarch.
*I would like to conclude this post by leaving you with a short video clip from one of my favorite scenes in the movie. And it was hard for me to pick ONE scene, because I love so many.
I give you….. “What the hell happened to you?”
Have a terrific weekend everyone!
And Happy Mother’s Day to all you awesome ladies!