»Moonstruck« is a romantic comedy from 1987, where next to Cher and Nicholas Cage, the full moon plays a leading part. It can be seen countless times in the film, in the night sky, quite differently compared to »Sleepless in Seattle« for example, where you can only see it on the movie poster. The word »moonstruck« in the title, refers little to the subject of sleepwalking, but rather to the fact that human behavior can be quite peculiar at times during the full moon.
The film is about trials and tribulations of the love between Loretta Castorini (Cher) and Ronny Cammareri (Nicolas Cage). Loretta is engaged to Ronny‘s brother Johnny at first, who primarily worries about his sick mother and visits her in Italy. Meanwhile, Loretta discovers her passion for Ronny. Loretta’s parents Cosmo and Rose accompany the tenor of events with their not always commendable behavior and worldly wisdom (»When you love ’em, they drive you crazy.«). In the end, everything falls into place very happily and Loretta and Ronny get engaged.
The theme song »That’s amore« is a real highlight in the movie, where Dean Martin sings the legendary lines to the full moon:
»… when the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie – that’s amore …«
Another fantastic full moon scene is the visit to the opera of Ronny and Loretta, where a scene of Rodolfo and Mimì is shown from Act Three of »LA BOHÈME«, where the full moon can be seen on the stage set. This work by Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924) is one of the few operas where the lyrics contain the full moon as well (by Benoît in Act One). Incidentally, this opera scene in »moonstruck« was made three years before Richard Gere and Julia Roberts 1990 went to the opera in »Pretty Woman« (»LA TRAVIATA« by Giuseppe Verdi) – admittedly without the fullmoon, but with tears in the eyes of the female leading actress, as well … looked at that way, »Moonstruck« could count as a trendsetter.
This film shows yet again how closely related the moonlight and romantic love are. And how wonderfully strange we humans act during this time …