Saturday, February 19, 2011

Snow Moon and Moonstruck

'Snow Moon' Over Earth (NASA, International Sp...Image by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center via FlickrThis week we had our mid winter full moon, called the Snow Moon (other names for it are Wolf Moon, Hunger Moon, Storm Moon and Candles Moon).  The week has been another busy one for me, but joy of all joys, ends with a long weekend.  In Canada we have a tradition of holiday long weekends, mostly through the summer.  A few years ago the decision was made that we all needed a mid winter break and they invented Family Day on the 3rd weekend in February to fill the need.

This week a change was in the air.  We had a breath of almost spring temps for a few days.  Yesterday the high reached 10 °C before plummeting to below freezing temps with gusting 100KM per hour winds last night.  The brief thaw reminds that spring is not far away and lifts the spirit.

I have lots to do this weekend, so no time right now to have a long thoughtful blog, but I did want to write a bit before starting my day in earnest.  I awoke today and to my delight I found that dawn has crossed the magic line to arrive before 7 a.m.  My favourite time is the morning and this is a nice contrast to waking in darkness. 

I am very excited today because I am going to pick up a piece of art I bought last weekend.   Then, after attending to the day's chores I will head up to GopherBroke Farm near Collingwood to spend some time with my dear friends.

As those of you who visit this blog regularly might know, I live in an area of Toronto called Liberty Village and it is, among other things, an area where there are a good number of artist live-work spaces and thus has a thriving artistic community.  One of our local artists (actually Liberty Village's official artist-in-residence) Michael Golland has a project on the go which I absolutely had to be a part of.  The collection is called "A Work of Heart" and it is a fund raiser for the Laser Eagles Art Guild, a group which works with people with physical disabilities to produce works of art.  More on this later in the weekend when I have time to do it justice and can include a photo of my Heart hanging on my wall.

In the meantime, the full moon this week had me thinking about my all time favourite romantic movie - Moonstruck. 

According to Wiki:
Moonstruck is a 1987 romantic comedy film directed by Norman Jewison. The movie was released on December 18, 1987, receiving largely positive reviews from critics. The film went on to gross $80,640,528 at the North American box office, making it the fifth highest grossing of that year. The film was nominated for six Oscars at the 60th Academy Awards, winning three for Best Original Screenplay, Best Actress, and Best Supporting Actress.

If you happened not to be into romantic comedy's in 1987 and haven't caught it on late night reruns on TV, it is a real gem.  Now, over 20 years later it also has an extra bit of campy charm.

The theme is an eternal one,  a love triangle, but with some unique twists.  As the movie starts,  Loretta Castorini (Cher) is planning her wedding  to Johnny Cammareri (Danny Aiello). Loretta has been unlucky in love.  Married once before to a man she loved who died suddenly, she has decided to settle for a safe but loveless choice - Johnny.  Johnny leaves the country to tend to his dying mother and while he is away Loretta falls in love with his estranged brother Ronny (Nicolas Cage), who Johnny had asked her to locate and invite to the wedding.

As we watch the movie unfold we are left pondering the nature of true love and how sometimes it is impractical and complicated and the question is whether it can prevail over the easier choice - for Loretta to stick with Johnny and live a good but loveless life or whether she will follow her heart and live a life of passion and true love.

There are so many great things about this movie. The cast is just right - a young Nicolas Cage (he is a favourite of mine),  Cher at her acting best and Olympia Dukakis is perfect as Rose, Loretta's mother.  The others actors, the extended family of the Castorini's, are equally capable if less well known and add a lot of side bars and smiles to the main plot.  The music is a perfect backdrop for the Italian-Brooklyn location where the movie is set. 
My favourite part of the movie is Ronny's plea to Loretta, after they spend an evening together at the Opera.

“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 aren’t here to make things perfect. The snowflakes are perfect. The stars are perfect. Not us. Not us! We are here to ruin ourselves and to break our hearts and love the wrong people and *die*. The storybooks are *bullshit*. Now I want you to come upstairs with me and *get* in my bed!”

I enjoyed the browse I had through You Tube looking at the Moonstruck video pieces folks have uploaded.   The movie trailer certainly does it justice.  If after watching it, you want to see a selection of various scenes there are lots to choose from and even the whole movie on You Tube.

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  1. I have never seen "Moonstruck," or any romantic comedy, for that matter. (I am sure that does not surprise you, Peggy.) .... unless. Unless, "Dave" might be considered one. There is something about that film which strikes me in a way that I never tire of watching it.

    But, Cher always has been among my favorite female vocalists and I enjoy Nicolas Cage movies (at least until the car chase scenes begin), so I enjoyed reading your post today and pondering the elements of love.

    I do not agree entirely with Cage's brief soliloquy about love, but I have always maintained that diligence and work are required for lasting love.

    And, yes, Spring approaches ....

  2. Kathleen - you quote a classic line from the movie clearly you are another romantic movie lover! For benefit of those who have never seen the movie - this is Loretta's response when Ronny tells her he loves her and it is accompanied with a snap out of it slap. There are lots of classic lines from the movie - but without seeing it from start to finish one wouldn't appreciate them most probably.

    Fram - and speaking of those who haven't seen the movie -- you are right I am not surprised that you don't do romantic comedies. Girlie movies are after all girlie movies for a reason and it is a rare man who is in touch sufficiently with his feminine side to enjoy them. (Just teasing) The movie Moonstruck is also in the Family Drama category (it is pretty light on comedy, though there are comedic moments), and in my opinion not the typical girlie movie. Fram, if you would watch one romance movie in a lifetime I believe this should be the one you should see.

    You really have to see the entire film to judge Cage's soliloquy. At the time he delivers it he is an angry and bitter man, believing that the the woman he has chanced upon and loves is going to marry his brother - who is the source of all the torment he suffered in the past. He is trying to convince Loretta that love is not always easy and that it should be seized even if it isn't story book.

    Warning: plot spoiler - skip to the next paragraph if you want to preserve the ending. At the end of the movie, in true girlie movie fashion, everything falls into place and rights itself and the song 'That's Amore' sums it all up. If Ronny were to deliver a soliloquy at the end it would be entirely different.

    Absolutely, I agree that diligence and work are required for lasting love, but sometimes opportunities might be passed up because it does not fit a preconceived definition of what is supposed to happen and of course we always risk when we love that it might not end happily ever after. I think that is what Ronny's soliloquy was all about.

    By the way, I have checked out the reviews on Dave (I haven't seen it) and must check it out. The plot looks quite interesting and from first glance almost a romantic comedy.


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