The Super | Chicago Reader

The Super

A greedy slum landlord (Joe Pesci), whose bigoted father (Vincent Gardenia) is even less compassionate, gets sentenced to house arrest in one of his own ghetto buildings until proper improvements are made, in a comedy directed by Rod Daniel (K-9) from a script by Sam Simon. While no sort of miracle, this movie goes surprisingly far in criticizing the greed and glibness of Reagan-era ghetto landlords, at least by pulling no punches when it comes to showing the squalor that their tenants are forced to live in; and Daniel's serviceable direction manages to get some good laughs out of Pesci's hard education and comeuppance. Pesci himself does his utmost to carry this feature on his shoulders, and though his success is hampered in part by a happy ending that seems more compromised than it absolutely needs to be, this is still more plausible as a social critique than the other yuppie “self-help” movies released about the same time (Regarding Henry, The Doctor, The Fisher King, et al). With Madolyn Smith Osborne and Ruben Blades.

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