Written by: Doug Bremner | Directed by: Doug Bremner | Genre: Comedy
Mallatta Parlazzi (Dawn Campion) believes it's time to divvy up her estate's belongings to her children, and one by one, the family arrives with their own families in tow. It's a big family, and all the Mallatta's children are women, so this is a really big deal. There's lots of furniture and expensive art pieces, so this should take a while. Oh, and the family itself, like most families, is pretty messed up. Normal is boring, and Inheritance Italian Style is an excellent reminder of that.
Five children ranging from a successful business tycoon to the depressed loner all have their wants and needs, and each one expects the world. For some, the whole experience is an exercise in patience, and for others, getting the family heirlooms means finally getting something, anything from what they consider an unloving environment. If this doesn't exactly sound like a comedy, that's because there's a lot of drama mixed into this film's presentation. There is also a lot of soul searching. By the end, the audience will have witnessed a heck of a lot more than they bargained for, including break-ups and potential new love interests. Doug Bremner's movie is a stark reminder that family may not be perfect, but family is still family... Italian style.
There are a lot of characters in this film. Way too many to give individual shoutouts because, frankly, this writ would have to be four or five times longer. With that being said, I can also say that the characters don't blend together into one, and there are lots for them to do, even if some of their screen time is not as extensive. Sometimes, the performances may feel a little forced, but that's not always a bad thing. For Inheritance Italian Style it adds to the sense of the craziness of the family. There are key themes I remember as I type this out and key scenes (actually running jokes) that I'm still chuckling at. The husbands of the family all ending up in the same place is hilarious. And all through the comedy, there's the hint of seriousness and life itself. There is also a hopeful and heartwarming ending that cements the fact that things will be alright.
Like the characters themselves, Doug Bremner's film is a collection of mixed nuts. Some good, some bad, and some hanging out in the living room somewhere. Inheritance Italian Style is an ambitious project that succeeds far more than it doesn't. This is definitely not a movie for those into fights and explosions, but other than that, I would recommend giving this film a go. 3.5/5 stars, and thank you for reading.
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