Cher stars as Loretta Castorini, a woman from New York who gets engaged to the not-quite-man of her dreams (as in he’s not quite of her dreams; there’s no reason to suspect he’s not a man). But when she goes to find his estranged brother (Nicolas Cage) to invite him to their wedding she gets more than she bargained for.
Cher is superb in the Oscar-winning lead role, demonstrating a level of naturalism in her performance that suggests she would have been a successful actor even if she hadn’t already found fame singing. Nicolas Cage is also excellent, as are the lesser know actors that make up Loretta’s loud Italian-American family.
This film has several similarities to Frankie and Johnny, from the New York setting to the eclectic mix of quirky supporting characters. The city is beautifully shot, illuminated by moonlight. Loretta’s family are likable, and have sub-plots of their own to rival the main story, as all threads are kept closely knit together.
Like Frankie and Johnny it’s a totally unconventional romantic comedy, but in a wholly different way. Loretta, in her late 30s, is one of the youngest characters in the film, which is in itself unconventional. Most of the comedy derives from the Allen-esque peculiarities of her older relatives rather than from jokes in the traditional sense, but there are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments.
The humour is excellently blended with the drama making the film a pleasure to watch. It actually gets funnier as it goes on and we get to know the characters. So good, in fact, that I’m going to Cher it with everyone I meet. Oof.