Don’t get me wrong: It’s fun to crack jokes about Nicolas Cage’s bizarre career choices and eccentric performances. But dang it, when Cage is in the right role, in the right movie, he’s something special. The 1987 romantic comedy Moonstruck is one of Cage’s best films—made all the better because he’s the picture’s soul but not its star. Cher (in her best role) plays Loretta, a superstitious middle-aged widow who makes a practical decision to remarry, and then has her heart stolen by her fiancé’s brooding, one-handed brother Ronny (played by Cage). Underrated auteur Norman Jewison smooths out some of the kinks in John Patrick Shanley’s screenplay—which fuses real emotional pain with a fairy tale version of New York—but he also brings an effective sense of realism to Shanley’s broadly sketched Italian-Americans and their melodramatic backstories. The key is Cage, who commits fully to Ronny’s anger and passion, creating a character who’s comically aggrieved but also dashing in his own weird way. Moonstruck airs on Epix3 tonight at 6:15 p.m. Eastern.
February 03, 2015 Cable Pick Of The Day