Moonstruck

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Moonstruck Movie Poster Image
Award-winning '80s romcom has some mature themes.
  • PG
  • 1987
  • 102 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

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 & Representations

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

A woman slaps a man who, earlier, threatens to kill himself half-seriously.

Sex

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.

Language

Some, used sparingly: "s--t;" Italian word for prostitute.

Consumerism

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.

What 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).

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byFosterFan August 5, 2011

Great actors, great screenplay. Excellent film.

There's a reason Moonstruck has become a classic film, and a staple in the romantic comedy genre. The players are top notch, the screenplay's hilariou... Continue reading
Adult Written byMusic/Movies December 25, 2012

Sex: 8/10, Violence: 2/10, Language: 4/10, Drinking: 4/10

Sex: There is one heavy kissing scene that I would almost call a makeout scene. A man pulls a woman off of a chair and kisses her heavily in his kitchen for a f... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byJaneGodfrey September 18, 2015

A lot of Sex

This movie isn't intended for kids at all. It has some nice messages, and a good ending, and everybody finds love and everything. But oh my gosh, all the o... Continue reading

What's the story?

This award-winning comedy stars Cher as Loretta, a 37-year-old accountant who long gave up on passion after her first husband was killed by a bus. She chalks it up to bad luck; she wasn’t married in a church; she didn’t have a ring; her husband didn’t propose on his knee. Her current boyfriend (Danny Aiello), whom she likes but doesn’t love, has asked for her hand in marriage, and she has accepted. But he implores her to speak to his estranged brother (Nicolas Cage), a request that will start a chain of events that will change her life forever. Meantime, her father and mother may be on the outs, and a full moon presiding over the film is bringing out the daredevil in everyone.

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Loretta's decision to marry Johnny: If she didn't love him, as she says, why did she want to marry him?

  • There's a lot of talk about luck in this film: Do you believe in it? What role does it play in this movie?

Movie details

For kids who love romance

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