Two Family House (2000)

TWO FAMILY HOUSE is a steady, sunny, Staten Island-set drama, set 
in the Fifties and starring a no-name cast, about an entrepreneur-
ial-obsessed Italian husband and father of none (Michael Rispoli) 
who crosses paths with a single, cash-strapped, Irish mother (Kate 
Winslet lookalike Kelly MacDonald) and her scandal-caused, half-
black baby and all after he and the Missus scrape together enough
cash to buy a home.  He wants a bar downstairs, they want to live
upstairs, but there's this small matter of a certain penniless
tenant...  Gentle, genially paced drama ensues, the lion's share 
of it immedately believable, despite the stock quality of the sit-
uations and, worse, a steady pace that's just slow-enough to let
you figure out everything before it happens.  Okay, a couple turn
of events actually surprise.  And the characters are very well-
fleshed, the roles made even *more* real by an exceptionally dur-
able ensemble of familiar-looking no-names.  (I'd wager every one
of the "Italians" has appeared at least a half-dozen major mob mo-
vies...)  Lots o' humor, too, both in the refreshingly frank reac-
tions of the characters and those amusingly archaic patriarchal
attitudes and intolerant mindsets.  Love that Ralph Kramden-worth-
y "chicken ranch" idea of the bartender's, too!  Not a bad movie
at all; just don't expect events to pass at a quick clip.  It's a
a watch watcher... With Kathrine Narducci, Kevin Conway, Matt Ser-
vitto, Vinny Pastore, and intermittent narration by someone.  
Written and directed by Raymond DeFelitta.  (Rated "R"/108 min.)

Grade: B

Copyright 2000 by Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

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Copyright 2001 by Michael J. Legeros -Movie Hell™ is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros