->''"The storybooks are bullshit!"''
-->-- '''Ronny'''

The story of your typical Italian American family living in New York. Loretta ({{Cher}}), a widow in her late thirties who has moved back in with her parents since the death of her husband, accepts a proposal from her bumbling boyfriend Johnny (Danny Aiello), who suddenly has to leave in order to visit his dying mother in Sicily. While he's away, Loretta tries to convince Johnny's estranged brother Ronny (NicolasCage) to give up their feud and come to the upcoming wedding, but accidentally falls for him. At the same time, Loretta's father (Vincent Gardenia) is having a secret affair while her mother (Olympia Dukakis) ponders the skirt-chasing mentality of men. HilarityEnsues.

Notable for getting Cher, Dukakis and screenwriter John Patrick Shanley AcademyAwards. Notable further for the fact that the acting awards, for a spot-on depiction of a big Italian family, went to the ''non''-Italian actors. Italian Vincent Gardenia did get nominated, but didn't win.

* AnguishedDeclarationOfLove: Ronny to Loretta.
-->'''Ronny:''' Loretta, I love you. Not, not like they told you love is and I didn't know this either. But love don't make things nice, it ruins everything! It breaks your heart, it makes things a mess. We aren't here to make things perfect. Snowflakes are perfect, stars are perfect. Not us! Not US! We are here to ruin ourselves and... and to break our hearts and love the wrong people and... and DIE... I mean, I mean the storybooks are [[PrecisionFStrike BULLSHIT]]. Now I want you to come upstairs with me and... and GET in my bed. Come on, come on, ''come on''...
* ArcWords: "Why do men chase women?"
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: One of the best examples in all of filmdom, though it'd more like Littering, Murder and Jaywalking. Loretta in confession.
-->''"I took the name of the Lord in vain, I slept with the brother of my fiancee, and I bounced a check at the liquor store."''
* AtTheOperaTonight: Ronny takes Loretta to ''Theatre/LaBoheme''. They're both dressed up and enjoy the performance a lot.
* BetterAsFriends: [[spoiler: Strongly implied about Loretta and Johnny.]]
* CoolOldGuy: Grandpa. (''Also'' played by a non-Italian.)
* DistinguishingMark: Nic Cage's character has a wooden hand after an accident in the bakery.
* EurekaMoment: "Thank you! Thank you for answering my question!" (Not that she didn't always know the answer.)
* {{Foreshadowing}}: The opening scenes show trucks delivering props to The Met for ''Theater/LaBoheme'', the same performance that Loretta, Sonny, Cosmo and Mona attend.
* GetAHoldOfYourselfMan: When Ronny tells Loretta he loves her, she slaps him and yells "Snap out of it!" This is the movie's SignatureScene.
* HappilyEverAfter: Everyone has a happy ending, even [[spoiler: Johnny.]]
* INeedAFreakingDrink:
** A guy in a restaurant gets drinks splashed in his face. He orders vodka. The waiter says he deserves one.
** Loretta asks for whisky when she meets with Ronny and they have dinner.
* InsistentTerminology: Listen carefully to Ronny. For example, he doesn't take Loretta to bed - he takes her to THE bed, as if it were a ritual or a meaningful part of an opera.
* ItaliansTalkWithHands: They all gesticulate heavily.
* LadyInRed: Loretta during her opera date with Ronny.
-->'''Ronny:''' ...''thank you.''
:: Mona also goes in a similar outfit, driving home to Loretta she's NotSoDifferent from her, though while she's still single (albeit engaged), Cosmo is ''married''.
* LargeHam: Cage just nearly borders on this during his first scene where he explains his hatred for his brother, but slides back into being genuine. It helps that the characters react to him in a similar way as the audience would, giving the character just a more LargeHam persona. It's been noted that Ronny is operatic - he loves opera, and literally ''performs'' his life (see InsistentTerminology). He has plenty of more human, quiet moments.
* LoveMakesYouCrazy: Practically the TropeCodifier.
* MommasBoy: Johnny ("Johnny Camareri? ''He's a big baby''.")
* MultigenerationalHousehold
* PercussiveTherapy: Ronny violently smacks some stuff to relieve stress when he tells Loretta his backstory.
* RealityIsUnrealistic: Well, when you're awoken by two family members in the middle of the night for important news, wouldn't ''your'' first reaction be, "Who's dead?"
* SheCleansUpNicely: When Loretta takes the grays out and gets the full beauty treatment, she goes from a nice middle-aged pretty to ''stunning''.
* SlapSlapKiss: Ronny & Loretta (reportedly an example of EnforcedMethodActing).
-->'''Loretta:''' Snap out of it!
* UnrevealAngle:
** When Ronny first appears, the audience sees just his back.
** The priest in the confessional. Only his hands are seen.
* WomenAreWiser: Played with. Loretta is a mess, but Rose, when given an opportunity to have a fling herself, declines politely, saying, "I know who I am."
* YourCheatingHeart: Loretta's father dates Mona. Rose, his wife senses he has an affair.