‘Mafia Mamma’ review: Toni Collette reluctantly becomes the godmother in this lighthearted Italian mass comedy

Mafia Mamma can be a wild idea that throws unsuspecting wives, mothers and businessmen into a new life as the head of an Italian crime family. Instead, it ended up being a pasta with too many ingredients, despite the luck starring the excellent Toni Collette. It’s not that the general audience doesn’t like it, but this is a film that feels like it’s been watched too many times. You can’t help chuckling, admiring Roman’s views, and rooting for Colette’s success, but with a premise like this it’s pretty light when you’re supposed to be so smart. Married to the mafia is not.

Collette stars as Christine Valvanno Jordan, an American on the verge of a life crisis. his male boss and misogynistic co-workers at his marketing job. It’s time for a change, and he’s going through a change he never expected.

After learning that the grandfather he never knew, Don Giuseppe Balbano (Alessandro Bressanello), has died, leaving him as sole heir to manage his business, he seeks encouragement from his best friend, Jenny (the bubbly Sophia Nomvete), to remedy the situation. As a way to change, attend his funeral in Rome and eat, pray and love at this time in his life. So he’s just off to land in the Danger Zone when he discovers (after an assassination attempt at a funeral) that his grandfather was actually the head of the Italian mafia clan Valvano and was killed by his rival (Eduardo Scarpetta). Replace him. As the head of the family “business”. In industry parlance, this would be a “fish out of water” setting.

Sure, she’s shocked at the idea, and it’s funny, but in Amanda Sthers‘ screen story from a script by Michael J. Feldman and Debbie Jhoon, Kristin is Consigliere, Bianca (Always welcome Monica Bellucci) empowers the Don’s new woman. Use cunning arguments and wise advice to give. It combines the Italian Mafia stereotype of the hard side of a long story with the romance of a fiery dream. After a chance meeting in the form of a man named Lorenzo (Giulio Corso), she instantly becomes a romantic interest for him. Here, Kristin seizes the opportunity to make Balbano’s winery and other illicit activities a cause for good rather than evil and finds ways to avoid the gunfights to distract the masses.

Seasoned director Katherine Hardwick (Twilight), in her own right, turned the whole thing into a more mainstream, feminist comedy, a vehicle for Colette. O’clock. . But without the likes of Colette and Bellucci, we’re going to be in trouble here. Nomvetes are also having fun at the Italian courts everywhere, and Alfonso Perugini and Francesco Mastroianni are also having fun as Kristin’s new bodyguards.

If you’re not asking for too much, most studios have given up, but if you’re missing out on forgettable but harmless standard studio-type comedies, Mafia Mamma can fill the bill. It was released on Bleecker Street. Open on Friday. The producers were Sthers, Christopher Simon and Collette.

Title: Mafia Mamma
Publisher: Bleecker Street
Release Date: April 14, 2023
Director: Catherine Hardwicke
Screenwriters: Michael J. Feldman and Debbie Jhoon (from story by Amanda Sthers)
Rating: R
Running time: 1 hour 41 minutes

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