“Bobo, The Check!” & Other Underrated Lines From Moonstruck

Right away Mr. Johnny.

I don’t know if you want it. You certainly don’t need it. But here’s your complete guide to every underrated line in Moonstruck, my favorite movie of all time, anyway. The film was released in 1987 and has three Oscars and two Golden Globes to its name. It stars Cher. You’ll watch it.

It is my favorite film for several obvious reasons including its ease of consumption, inclusion of the Italian language and culture, and the presence of Olympia Dukakis. But here’s a reason that’s harder to notice: At the time of filming, Cher was 41. Nicholas Cage, playing her (rather tortured) love interest, was 23. Get. It. Cher.

Those not unfamiliar with this Norman Jewison masterpiece will know that “snap out of it” gets a lot of airtime, as far as lines go. And it should! Cher’s Loretta Castorini has a bullshit tolerance level of -5 and she is my sensei. But there are so many lines, brilliant for both content and delivery, that deserve to rise to Snap Out Of It status and I’m here to help them on their way. They are in chronological order apart from the titular line of this piece. I’d say spoilers ahead but the only thing that could spoil this movie would be wiping it from the pages of history.

“Bobo, The Check!” — Johnny

Following his proposal to Loretta, Johnny Cammareri receives a round of applause from the entire restaurant and triumphantly exclaims this line as if he’s just won the Triple Crown. It makes me laugh every time because after he says it, the cheers get louder. The check. I can’t.

“I’ll give you this, you make good coffee.” — Loretta

The brilliance of the line comes from the fact that it’s being said in a funeral parlor to a mortician with no organizational skills whatsoever who just got butter on his presumably $200 tie. That and the fact that Al seems to agree with Loretta’s statement with a mouthful of bread. He appreciates the compliment, meager as it is. There’s a dead body in the next room.

“When he smiles, I can’t see his teeth, what is hiding?” — Cosmo

Don’t take a sip of wine before this line is delivered, you’ll ruin your couch. Cosmo Castorini is an incredible character. He’s very much the head of a family, a fragile male, and also a dick. The scene where his daughter Loretta tells him she’s engaged at the kitchen table is some of the best writing and line delivery you can rent on Amazon for $2.99.

“Who’s dead?” — Rose

Is there a more “mom over 60” line in the history of the universe? It transcends ethnicity, era of time, everything. If you wake your mom, literally any mom, in the middle of the night, she’s going to assume someone has left us. Olympia Dukakis’ Rose Castorini does this without moving an inch of her body by the way, as if she’s a vampire being summoned.

“I wanna talk to him.” — Loretta

The attitude. The complete absence of fear. Loretta demanding that Chrissy deliver her to Ronny and Chrissy’s subsequent widened eyes are *chefs kiss.*

“You’ll eat it.” — Loretta

In general I’m a fan of lines of dialogue that are impossible to argue with, both in real life and in film. Part of me thinks Loretta very much missed her calling as an attorney. Also who walks into the home of someone they’ve never met, tosses on an apron, and makes a steak? I aspire to Loretta’s confidence level and command of situations.

“Watch it, the house!” — Rose

I wish Olympia Dukakis was my blood relative, I really do.

“In time you’ll drop dead and I’ll come to your funeral in a red dress!” — Loretta

In truth this is my favorite line in the entire film. Johnny, who Loretta does not love, has just ended their engagement. In a few moments time she will then become engaged to Ronny, his brother. This outcome is actually a good thing for Loretta, but I love that she has absolutely no intention of letting a man break an engagement with her free of consequence. I highly encourage you to modify and utilize this line for your own needs.

“I’m confused.” — Old Man (Loretta’s grandfather, this is literally his credited title)

After the engagement mess mentioned above, the most senior member of the family is (understandably) a bit lost. I just love that he says this while crying.

No recitation of dialogue herein could convey to you the necessity of this film in your life. Though I think I did an excellent job. I strongly suggest you make it a permanent fixture on Sunday afternoons during meal prep and any other time you need a film that’s simply good company. It is a love story. It is a comedy. It is family. Cher’s in it. Enjoy.

NPR once called me a humor essayist, let’s go with that. Host of A Single Serving Podcast. shanisilver[at]gmail

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