By Lori Perkins
I wanted to love this. I wanted it to be a classic like My Cousin Vinnie, but, alas, it’s more like Crossroads (that Britney Spears roadtrip movie by a great director) or Book Club (great actresses, silly premise). I wanted Toni Collette to make me laugh so hard I couldn’t breathe. Instead, I watched with entertained concentration (was that a finger in her hair?).
Mafia Mamma is a curious mix of a lot of genres and classic films, and certainly worth the watch…but I know I’ll never watch it again. I accept that my expectations were too high.
When I let go of what I wanted this movie to be and just relaxed into it, I did enjoy it, especially the more brutal moments (the shoe heel as weapon is well done). The basic premise is that a people-pleasing American suburbanite with a college-age son (there’s the mama part) is bequeathed the role of head mobster in Italy. Of course, she doesn’t even know that her grandfather was the godfather, and hasn’t even seen the movie. But she learns fast, and eventfully transforms her Roman mafia family into a legitimate business making wine and importing legal American pills to the Italian countryside.
Collette is great, the male actors are hot and fun, and the Italian countryside is delish, as a Catherine Hardwicke-directed film should be (she directed the first Twilight movie). So just enjoy it with your gal pals in a theater that serves wine!