Loretta Castorini (played by Cher) has been unlucky in love. She’s got a good job as a bookkeeper for many local Brooklyn businesses, she has a loving, supportive family, she lives in a safe clean home and is healthy and strong – but she’s lost out in the romance department. She married the love of her life seven years ago, but he died in a tragic accident and she now lives at home with her parents Rose (by Olympia Dukakis) and Cosmo (by Vincent Gardenia). They despair at their daughter’s bad luck – Loretta has given up on finding her one true love, convinced she must just “settle”. She agrees to marry the hapless Johnny Cammameri (by Danny Aiello) as he heads back to Sicily to his dying mother’s bedside. Loretta has no expectations of romance, but expects Johnny to “do things right” – they’ll marry in a big church wedding as soon as he returns. In the meantime, she goes to visit Johnny’s brother, Ronny (by Nicholas Cage) to try to patch up a long-standing family feud. But when she meets Ronny, she realises she’s stepped right into the middle of a “situation” – she gets involved in so much more than she ever expected ….
This is a little more than a family comedy – it’s a living, breathing, caricature of Italian culture in Brooklyn. All the characters are larger than life, their beliefs are strong, superstitions run deep and life principles are direct. “Do you love him, Loretta?” asks her mother Rose, – she replies “No, Ma.” … “Good” says Rose “… if you do they drive you crazy – because they can”. Her father, Cosmo, is hopeless, but provides well for his family. Loretta is accepting of her lot, not expecting much to improve – and suspicious of anything that might bring happiness to her. As Ronny, Nicholas Cage is passionate and earnest – he plays that way past the point of what’s necessary, so the whole thing is over the top. I’m a fan of Cher in the movies and she does well here – hence her Academy Award (Oscar) and Golden Globe for this in 1988. John Mahoney is great, as is Olympia Dukakis – she won an Academy Award and Golden Globe also, well done.
Made in 1987. Directed by Norman Jewison