The Manzoni family have just arrived in another small French town, and are trying hard to adjust, to blend in and go unnoticed, it’s just that it’s not in their nature! The Manzoni family are members of the Witness Relocation Programme after Giovanni Manzoni (Robert De Niro) snitched on his former Mafia family members. His new identity is Fred Blake, an American writer and he is required to stay in the confines of his house and not venture into the outside world. His wife Maggie (Michelle Pfeiffer) starts her endless search for peanut butter while the kids launch their campaign to take over another school.
When I first heard the premise of this film something in the back of my head said ‘didn’t De Niro already make a movie with the same premise?’. I think I had confused Analyze This (A mob boss who under goes therapy) with Lilyhammer. The premise is not exactly ground breaking and it’s another light hearted comedy where Robert De Niro cashes in on his past. If you look back on his work over the past ten years, more often than not, it’s a light hearted comedy, but I have to say I quite enjoyed this one.
The stories of the four family members are treated equally, and the son and daughter, Warren and Belle are both quite entertaining. Warren starts off being bullied for being different, but he soon finds the weaknesses of those around them, and takes over the schools illicit cigarette market. Belle is stunning but has a short fuse, and those that cross tend to come off badly.
While the ending of the of the film is a little formulaic, what goes before it is quite enjoyable and there are a number of laughs along the way. It is well acted and Pfeiffer steals many scenes from the understated De Niro. Luc Besson directs and co wrote the screenplay and his insights into French life work well. While this film is by no means ground breaking and in truth is a little light, it is an enjoyable comedy that zips along nicely.
Categories: Movie Review, Movies
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