Entertainment - Media News Watch originally published at Entertainment - Media News Watch

The incomparable Toni Collette saves this otherwise generic comedy from director Catherine Hardwicke.

Plot: Follows an insecure American woman who unexpectedly inherits her grandfather’s mafia empire in Italy. Guided by the firm’s trusted consigliere, she hilariously defies everyone’s expectations, including her own, as the new head of the family business.

Review: The glut of movies out there means that viewers must be selective with what they watch, often relying on star power to draw them into a project. Toni Collette, who played the lead in the Prime Video show The power, has fun in Mafia Mamma. Mafia mamma is a cliched screenplay that fails to rise above it despite the Godfather references and the unexpected bloodshed. The only saving grace is Collette, who has great comedic timing and dives into this film with energy that is its sole saving grace.Collette plays Kristin Balbano, an American marketing executive who is about to become an empty nester as her son Domenick (Tommy Rodger) heads off to college. Kristin, who hates her job and her chauvinistic manager, discovers that her musician husband Paul is having an affair. Kristin is informed by Bianca (Monica Bellucci), that her grandfather died. She then heads to Italy to attend the funeral. Kristin discovers that she is now the head of her family’s mafia group, amid a hailing of gunfire. Kristin, with Bianca as capo, must meet the rival Romanos in order to settle the ongoing feud between their families. She only wants to tour Rome to get laid. With her cousin Fabrizio (Eduardo Scarpetta) reluctant to see this foreigner take over the family, Kristin must quickly learn how to lead with Bianca’s support.There is very little seriousness in Mafia Mamma. From the outset, Toni Collette plays Kristin as a comedic character. As the film begins, she is naive and meek. She plays the shock of joining a crime syndicate to get laughs. Her henchmen Aldo (Francesco Mastroianni), and Dante (Alfonso Perugini), are funny supporting actors who ingratiate them with jokes about Italians, and references to Francis Ford Coppola’s iconic trilogy. Kristin meets a local pasta maker named Lorenzo (Guilio corso) who helps her realize her dream of

Eat, Pray, Love

crossed with Under the Tuscan Sun. Mafia Mamma is a rom-com that makes great use of the Italian landscape. The gore is where the film stands out. Kristin, who is incapable of solving problems without violence, finds herself in a variety of situations. I did not expect to see so many body parts, pools of blood, and discarded appendages.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2UNT1pLP6gThroughout the film, there are a few scenes that I actually found funny, mostly those that are more action-oriented. The scenes where characters are delivering exposition can feel heavy-handed. The majority of the supporting cast are decent, but there are some characters who are just awful. Kristin’s lawyer friend Jenny (Sophia Nomvete), at first, was a plot-driver, but by the end she had become a cliche. Tim Daish, Kristin’s hubby, is another character that looks like a scumbag from the moment he appears on screen. The two leading actors save the day because so many of the characters are thin. Toni Collette is hilarious here, and has played so many great dramatic roles. Collette never lets Kristin’s transformation into a mafia-donna, from a meek woman to a mafia boss, be without humor. She never loses her core personality. Monica Bellucci is equally impressive in making Bianca an intimidating character. She does more than pout, play pretty and pout. Catherine Hardwicke’s latest project, Mafia mamma , is based on a script written by J. Michael Feldman & Debbie Jhoon. Hardwicke has had a string of mediocre films on her resume, including



Lords of Dogtown. The comedy is often a disappointment, and there are some confusing editing choices. One of these includes a blatant stand in during a major climactic scene. Hardwicke, a talented director, is often saddled with poor scripts. Mafia Mamma does not make an exception. This movie could have worked better if it had taken itself more seriously and cast stronger actors as supporting roles. It is true that Toni Collette, Monica Bellucci, and the rest of the cast have to do much to save this movie, but that is not enough. You could spend a couple of enjoyable hours watching Toni Collette in Italy on a streaming service. On the big screen this is a laugh-out-loud comedy that has been done better. The romantic comedy or mob story elements are not new, but the movie will appeal to a certain audience that will enjoy the empowerment it offers. The majority of male characters are portrayed as idiots and fools, while the women are strong and capable. There is nothing wrong with this. When the female characters in this movie are often portrayed as idiots, it makes me wonder who is watching it. If you check out Mafia Mamma, you will like Toni Collette and Monica Bellucci but not much else.5

Entertainment - Media News Watch originally published at Entertainment - Media News Watch