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January 21, 1988 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-01-21

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The Michigan Daily

Thursday, January 21, 1988

Page 7-

A Lune-



that hits


right notes

By Scott Collins
Norman Jewison's Moonstruck
begins as a sturdy piece of fluff, and
it's built to stay that way. The
opening credits roll to Dean Martin's
kitsch classic "That's Amore"
("When the moon hits your eye like
a big pizza pie, that's amore"), and
before long you realize that the film
was chosen for the song, and not the
other way around. The characters
move about in a high-camp opera,
and what they say and do is sp
preposterously silly that you find
pyourself looking for the meat of the
parody. There isn't any. The makers
of Moonstruck have baked a solid
crust of dough.
That doesn't mean that the film
lacks a certain charm, however, and
as a comedy built on character and
situation, it works well. Firmly
fixed in Brooklyn's tomato ghetto,
where, according to the scenario,
Italian-Americans talk with their
hands, bake and argue, argue and
bake, Loretta Castorini (Cher), a
40ish widow, nonchalantly accepts
a marriage proposal from Johnny
Cammareri (Danny Aiello, fondly;
remembered for his role as
Madonna's father in the "Papa, Don't
Preach" video).
When Johnny leaves for Sicily to
attend to his dying mother, he asks
Loretta to call his little brother
Ronny (Nicolas Cage), to whom he
hasn't spoken in years, and invite
him to the wedding. But when she
delivers the invitation she discovers
that Ronny blames his brother for
the bakery accident that resulted in
the loss of both his left hand and his
sex appeal. Our heroine, of course,

professor (John Mahoney) who's had
his own problems with the opposite
sex. After a restaurant dinner of
finely tuned ambivalence, Rose
flatly turns down the opportunity for
a fling of her own. She's too wise,
too strong, and too hurt to consider
The blame for the portions that
sag - mostly in the middle of the
film - must be shared among the
writer, John Patrick Shanley, and the
two leads. The film's publicity,
which admits that production was
adapted to Cher's busy schedule last
year, clearly sees this as a vehicle for
the rising star of its top-billed
actress; while she shuffles through
Brooklyn with a coach-aided accent
and tattoo-hiding dresses, Cher
seems to be on automatic pilot
throughout. Her Merle Norman
metamorphosis at the climax,
brought on by the moon's rays,
love's glow, and some skillful
hairdressers, is a joke. Cher is such
an irrepressible glamourpuss she
couldn't look dowdy if her Mackies
depended on it.
Cage, a limited actor to begin
with, isn't given much support from
the script, which seems to view him
solely as a love interest for the
female star. Poor Ronny is an idiot

savant, a lummox who loves the arts
but can't explain why. His
enthusiasm for opera is neither
qualified nor explored, as it could be.
for comic effect or character depth,
and the few strong clues to his
passion ultimately reveal its
shallowness. While escorting Loretta
through the lobby of the Met, h
points out a mural and declares,
"This is a painting by Marc Chagall,
and as you can see he was a very
great artist."
Art means even less to Loretta,
but while she's more unsophisticated
than Ronny, she's also wiser -and
considerably older (in real life, Cher
has twenty years on Cage). In short,
these two goofballs have nothing in
common; how lucky that the moon
offers a reason for their union.
Fortunately the talents of the
remainder of the ensemble and rising
plot momentum divert attention
from an otherwise boring love affair.
When Ronny sweeps Loretta off her
feet and carts her off to bed after their
first encounter, she says, "Oh, I
don't care; take me to bed." To hell
with everything is Loretta's motto,
and it might be yours too as you
vegetate in front of this film's loopy

How lucky that the moon offers a reason for the union of Loretta Castorini (Cher) and Ronny (Nicholas
Cage), two complete opposites, in the new movie 'Moonstruck.' Fortunately the talents of the remainder of
the cast and the rising plot momentum divert attention from an otherwise boring love affair.

perceives Ronny's inner beauty and
gradually realizes that she wants to
return his quickly developed love -
a real blitzliebe , even by the
standards of Hollywood romance -
for her.
This film tips its hat to the
magical power of love, represented
by a huge full moon that rises over
the Manhattan skyline. The rhythm
of Eros matches its cycle, and as it
waxes, so does desire. "Bella luna,"

the film's sage old man (Feodor
Chaliapin) murmurs, "bella luna!"
The beautiful moon creates an im-
possibly romantic aura, a somewhere
over the rainbow that's nevertheless
east of the Hudson. It's a devoutly
silly prop, more appropriate for the
sixth grade stage than the
mainstream movie, but you'll smile
Any film like this one, rooted in
the tradition of classical comedy,

depends to a great extent on subtle
acting and snappy dialogue to sus-
tain a number of nice "little" mo-
ments, and for the most part
Moonstruck delivers. Particularly
effective is the scene in which
Loretta's mother Rose (Olympia
Dukakis, turning in the film's best
performance), having recently dis-
covered that her husband (Vincent
Gardenia) is having an affair, meets a
handsome middle-aged college

Counseling Services Group
Call Counseling Services for a screening
appointment: 764-8312
Group Meets Tuesdays from 3:10 -4:45 p.m.

U-Roy trans formed Pig
into reggae dance hal

CALL 764-0557

By Todd Shanker
On Tuesday night, the sad glint
of the Blind Pig's old, red bulb par-
lor transformed into a sunshine-lit
Jamaican dance hall as U-Roy elec-
trified apacked house with nearly
two hours of slick, spontaneous,
tongue-wagging, dynamic reggae.
Stepping onto the stage in a sil-
very sweatsuit and a black, giant-
brim Jamaican hat (adorned with a
purple feather), U-Roy ignited the
crowd with skank-perfect renditions
of his D.J. style hits "Wake the
Town," "Rule the Nation," and a
cover of the Heptones' "Partytime."
Immediately the atmosphere began
to change. Someone in the back of
the bar lit a few sticks of sweet
smelling strawberry incense, adding
a nice touch to the action on stage.
U-Roy took a short breather and
scanned the crowd; his belligerent
brown eyes rolled in a silent but
powerful communication. Bass
player Baba Tunde began leading U-
Roy into a cover of Bob Marley's
"Soul Rebel" with a spellbinding
explosion with U-Roy's flitting vo-
cal excursions creating deep shudders
among the ecstatic crowd.
"I love the Black and the white
together," U-Roy screamed with a
toothy grin. "It's beautiful!" He
then did a trio of improvised tunes

from his Dread in a Babylon album.
It was an incredible scene. Curls of
smoke snaked by U-Roy's face while
he sang. His hips were gyrating and
his spongy dreadlocks bounced to the
intoxicating reggae rhythm.
After leaving the stage for about
five minutes, U-Roy returned for an
encore wearing fluorescent green
jeans as the crowd waved their hands
in the air and chanted his name.
"Reggae Party" had the whole bar
dancing, including an arm-swinging
skanker who accidentally backhanded
my half-full beer off the table; but

the glass perfectly thunked to the'
ground to the beat of Baba Tunde's
bass line. And finally, by special re-
quest, U-Roy sang "Chalice in the
Palace," perfectly ending a thrilling
night of dance-reggae.
As U-Roy and the other musi-
cians left the stage the old reddish
lights flicked-on and the crowd dis-
persed, leaving what had been tem-
porarily transformed into a sun-lit
Jamaican scene. In light of Tuesday
night's performance and his upcom-
ing engagement at 1988's Reggae
Sunsplash, U Roy is definitely back.

Where's the Mouse?

N h-I

Jobs with Housing Division's
Food Service offer
$4.50/hr. starting wages
Phone or stop by the Food Service
Office of any Hall..
Alice Lloyd............. 764-1183
Bursley............ . 763-1121
East Quad............ 764-0136
Couzens Hall.......... 764-2142
Law Quad............ 764-1115
I AE~EhI r1^ Irr, -Pn - a A n

It's at th



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