Two Family House | Chicago Reader

Two Family House

Yet another charming, nostalgic look at a bygone New York populated by emotional and wisecracking Italian-Americans, with a sound track chock-full of Sinatra tunes. While singing in the service during World War II, amateur crooner Buddy (Michael Rispoli) is promised an audition by Arthur Godfrey once he returns to the States, but to appease his future wife, Estelle (Katherine Narducci), who's afraid he'll fail and be mocked by their friends and neighbors, he declines. After they're married he embarks on one ill-fated moneymaking scheme after another; only after years of working at the local factory does he save enough to move out of her parents' house and into a ramshackle two-story house on Staten Island, where he hopes to realize his dream of running his own tavern. Writer-director Raymond De Felitta has crafted a pleasant, low-key script that's full of small surprises, nice turns, and engaging, naturalistic dialogue, and he keeps the big, emotional family scenes, which often render this sort of material hackneyed, to a minimum. 104 min.

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