A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Love can strike anytime, and especially when you're not looking, and it's good to give into it -- for the right person. The film, in fact, is infused with romance (a magical moon, a sense that lovers can't resist the pull of true love). Your past doesn't define have to define you. There's also a clear message about the importance of family and tradition, though one does not have to abide by both slavishly.
Positive Role Models
In the beginning, the two main leads are broken types defined by their past heartbreaks. But somehow, they find a way to trust and hope, though the route they take does include some form of deception.
Violence & Scariness
A woman slaps a man who, earlier, threatens to kill himself half-seriously.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A woman sleeps with her fiance’s brother. We see them kissing and hear them moaning; later she’s seen ostensibly naked under a sheet, her silhouette outlined by moonlight. An elderly man is having an affair, and his wife suspects it. Another retiree gets frisky with his wife (no nudity). A womanizer kisses a married woman on the cheek after walking her home.
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Some, used sparingly: "s--t;" Italian word for prostitute.
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Products & Purchases
Some signage for the Metropolitan Opera's production of "La Boheme," as well as mom-and-pop stores (florists, hair salons, bakeries). Also, the odd Budweiser outside a bar.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Plenty of social drinking at restaurants, parties, the theatre; a family breaks open the champagne to celebrate a piece of good news; a woman drinks a glass of wine before a date.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this romantic comedy, which is far from the pre-packaged, predictable fare typical of the genre, has lots of heart, but does deal with mature themes like betrayal and deception, which are probably too weighty for kids. There's little swearing and nudity, though couples are shown in passionate embrace. There are also some arguments that may be a little bombastic for very young viewers (though hilarious for everyone else). To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
MOONSTRUCK is a playful creation with refreshing and charming twists and turns, so far removed from the formulaic fare often packaged as romantic comedy. There's a reason it reaped so many awards -- writing, acting -- at the 1988 Academy Awards. First, there's the premise, which could've easily veered into melodrama but instead found life as an offbeat meditation on passion. Then, there's the ensemble -- so strong from the bit players to the lead, especially the captivating Cher. (Cage borders on hammy, but appeals, anyway.)
But it's also juxtaposed with moments of affecting reality (a man cheats on his longtime, devoted wife, played with such dexterity by Olympia Dukakis), which rescues it from maudlin. It also makes you think about how easily being moonstruck turns into being complacent, and how one can't rely on a celestial being, beautiful or not, to make an earth-bound relationship last for all time. That takes work.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.