“E qui la luna l’abbiamo vicina”

February 10, 2009

We looked out the back door just now, and there behind the trees was Cosmo’s moon – bright enough to almost hurt your eyes if you stare at it. I don’t know if it was out there last night, but it would have been appropriate: We stayed up ’til midnight watching “Moonstruck” yet again. We had just watched “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” which neither of us had ever seen. That was directed brilliantly by Elia Kazan, who later went before the House Unamerican Activities Committee and named names. In 1945, when Kazan made that film, we Americans hadn’t yet refined our paranoia about Reds.

We knew “Moonstruck” was scheduled to start at around 10:30 and neither of us made a move to turn off the TV or change the channel. We watch it whenever we’re aware that it’s being broadcast – and this was TCM, with no commercial interruptions and no dubbing over expletives. Of course, one can achieve the same thing by watching the movie on a DVD, and, in fact, there is a DVD of “Moonstruck” in a cabinet immediately under our TV. But that wouldn’t be the same, because we’d be watching it, but no one else would. We can do that any time – and we do, at least twice a year – but the communal experience was too much to pass up.

“Look! It’s Cosmo’s moon! … Is he down there?”



7 Responses to ““E qui la luna l’abbiamo vicina””

  1. I saw that was on last night. TCM is something new to me now that I’m living with my in-laws and they get good cable. As opposed to my old apartment’s basic. Part of my daily routine is checking the TCM listings. My wife and my mother-in-law are big sky watchers as well as watchers of Moonstruck.

    Loretta Loretta…

    And then I get…did you know you kind of look like Nicholas Cage…to which I say I hope it’s the movie where he had good hair…but that never happened.

  2. I searched “Moonstruck” on WordPress.com and found this post. Though it’s from quite awhile ago, you are obviously a big fan of the movie, as am I and my blogging buddy, BronxBoy55. Perhaps you’d like to take a stab at answering his question (I’m stumped and can’t help – perhaps Cosmo’s moon is to blame for Johnny’s behavior!):


    I can’t figure it out!

    • charlespaolino Says:

      There is an implication in the film that Johnny’s mother doesn’t want him to get married. He’s a mama’s boy, and she wants it that way. This relationship is not unknown among Italian mothers and sons. So Johnny got up the nerve to propose to Loretta because he knew his mother was dying and wouldn’t be around to run his life any more. In the climactic scene in the Casterinis’ kitchen, Johnny tells Loretta in so many words that he proposed to her in the first place only because he thought his mother was dying. You can read that exchange in the script at THIS LINK. You may also recall a telephone conversation in which Johnny, in Palermo, tells Loretta that he hasn’t broken the news of his engagement yet. Well, when he finally broke the news, his mother got out of bed, got dressed, and cooked a meal for everyone in the house. She got well out of spite, to make sure her son wouldn’t marry.

  3. Grazie tante, Charles! Would it be an imposition to ask you to copy and paste your reply at the link for BronxBoy55’s post? He would be thrilled by your explanation, but may have questions! This has puzzled him for years. If you’d prefer not to do that, you can tell me to snap out of it!

    • charlespaolino Says:

      I put my response on BronxBoy’s page. Everyone in my family is a fan of that movie, so it’s always fun for us to talk or write about it.

      • Thank you! I think you made his day! If you accept his invitation to move in with his family to answer any and all movie questions, can I direct my film questions to you at his blog? As I replied to your reply to his post, “I’m confused.” One of many great Moonstruck quotes!

  4. charlespaolino Says:

    I’m hardly an expert on film, but I do like to write about them, so this exchange has been fun. I write book reviews and theater reviews for some newspapers here in New Jersey.

    I have linked to both your blog and his. I gather from what you’ve written about Sicily that you don’t intend to take Cosmo’s advice: “Don’t go on any long trips!”

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