Moonstruck forevermore

In the interests of full authorial disclosure, I need to begin with a confession. I am, have been, and likely always will be, a loyal fan of Nic Cage. I grew up watching his movies, and will probably grow old watching them too.

My first memory of watching him is in ‘Peggy Sue Got Married’, where I fell in love with his gravel voiced portrayal of the flawed, yet charming Charlie Bodell. And then, along came a movie called Moonstruck.

It is a movie that holds a record for longest time spent hovering around first place in my list of ‘favourite movie of all time’. In fact, I’ve recently confirmed for myself that indeed it IS my favourite movie … a place which shall be locked in forevermore; we’ve known eachother for too long for any other movie to ever come close.

As the tormented and angry Ronny Cammareri, Nic Cage is perfect (and I don’t just mean in the lean, long-legged way) – his characterisation is perfect in an imperfect, real way. Until he meets Loretta (played beautifully by Cher), Ronny is consumed by bitterness and the problems of his life which he largely blames on his older brother Johnny (who happens to be Loretta’s fiancé). When Ronny and Loretta first meet, instead of being put-off by Ronny’s aggressive manner, Loretta finds herself intrigued, rising to the challenge of this seemingly difficult man. Following some wonderful heated exchanges with some seriously sharp writing, Ronny’s anger and Loretta’s sensibility find a happy connection together in the home of passion and love:

You’re mad at him, take it out on me, take your revenge on me! Take everything; leave nothing for him to marry! Hollow me out so there’s nothing left but the skin over my bones.’

One of the true pleasures of Moonstruck is the way that all the characters are multi-dimensional. In the case of Ronny, he isn’t just a baker tormented by a past love that slipped away, he is also a lover of opera and a tragic romantic (the music from La Boheme is cleverly used throughout the film):

‘I love two things. I love you, and I love the Opera. If I can have the two things that I love together for one night, I will be satisfied to give up, oh God, the rest of my life.’

Ronny is the master of persuasive poetic speeches, filled with the thoughts which have come to embody many of my concepts of love, life, romance and passion. I think the reason why I enjoy Ronny Cammareri so much, and in fact all the interesting characters played by Nic Cage, is that he is able to expose the flaws of a character in a completely charming way, exploring them to full advantage:

‘Loretta, I love you. Not like they told you love is and I didn’t know this either. But love don’t make things nice, it ruins everything – it breaks your heart, it makes things a mess. We’re not here to make things perfect. Snowflakes are perfect. The stars are perfect. Not us. We are here to ruin ourselves and break our hearts and love the wrong people and die! The storybooks are bullshit!’

Many people like to criticise Nic Cage, and perhaps one of the hardest parts of being one of his fans is constantly having to defend both him and my enjoyment of his films. I’ve given up on that in recent times, figuring that some people will just never ‘get it’. After all, movies are sometimes created to simply entertain, to provide us with an escape … and yes, for us to fall in love and ruin ourselves with.

(due to this week currently spinning out of control, I hope you enjoy this piece I recently wrote for the ‘Coalition of Awesomeness‘. Thanks also for all those who have left comments, I’ll catch up on those very soon … promise).

8 Comments

  1. jan

    I’m a Nicholas Cage fan too going back to “Peggy Sue…” I have never understood his critics who just assume we will understand why he is terrible without explaining why they think that way. Or maybe they do explain and I don’t stay around long enough to listen.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Jan – It’s so awesome to hear you’re a Nicholas Cage fan too … he’s all kinds of wonderful, and so many people just like to rubbish him for some reason.

      Whenever I’ve had to deal with one of those NC ‘haters’, they’ve never been able to come up with any real justification for why they think he’s rubbish … Oh well, at least it means more for the likes of us to appreciate Jan! 🙂

  2. Gabrielle Bryden

    You have excellent tastes that follow mine closely – hahahahaha! I loooove Mr Cage and that movie (among others of his) – I think it’s the voice more than anything.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Gabrielle – Haha!! Well we are both clearly women of exquisite taste (so glad you’re a fan of his too). Sometimes it can feel like I’m the only one who likes him and his movies … there are so many of his films that I like (some critically acclaimed, some not so much appreciated by critics) – I love him in ‘Red Rock West’ (another one of my ALL TIME FAVOURITE films), and ‘Bringing Out The Dead’ … I also have a special place in my heart for ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’ … he has SOOOO many movies in his back catalogue! 🙂

      (I really must re-watch Peggy Sue again I think). 😀
      That voice of his + that intensity = happiness for me!

  3. Rellacafa

    I’d never even heard of this film! Sounds fabulous, straight onto my Quickflix list ;D

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Caf – Haha … you make me feel so OLD in not knowing of the wonders of ‘Moonstruck’ – although it is a movie from the 80s (and there are SOOO many movies from the 80s), and now that is soooo very long ago. 🙂

      Go watch it for sure and tell me what you think!!! 😀

  4. woolf

    when i saw moonstruck popping up on one of your bottom links… i just had to laugh, and send you a little note on how exhilarating i find your like of the movie, the actors, the lines, the story. for all those reasons moonstruck’s been my favourite too… there is NO way that movie ages, nor tires. it is almost impossible. if a term such as filmstruck would exist… i remember seeing it first in the theatre, very theatrical indeed. but i so feast on the psychology in it too. and the humour.
    n♥

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Woolf – Oh I’m so glad you sent me a little note on this my way … it’s always a delight to hear of other people who love this film the way that I do. It’s funny because I’ve been very much in the mood of late to watch it yet again … you’re so right about the fact that it doesn’t date or get old … it delights me each and every time I watch it. Even though I know how it ends, I just love to go along for the journey and get swept up by the characters all over again. Thanks for sharing your delightful thoughts. xx

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