An undercover FBI agent falls in love with a recently widowed mafia wife seeking to start her life over after her husband's murder and who is also pursued by a libidinous mafia kingpin seeking to claim her for himself.
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Angela deMarco is unhappily married to high Mafia member Frank deMarco. When Frank is killed, Angela takes the opportunity to break free of the Mafia world entirely and start a new life. But Frank's boss, Tony Russo, begins to court the unresponsive Angela. The FBI begins surveillance on her, thinking her to be his new mistress. FBI agent Mike Downey goes undercover as Angela's neighbor, but soon finds himself attracted to Angela himself. Written by
Still on my list of all-time favorites, after all these years!
This is a fun movie with subtle intention. Its off-beat comedy is hilarious to me, unfunny to my friends. The soundtrack is perfect.
I own this on VHS and I have watched it many, many times, because it's simply a fun and funny love story with great performances by all the principals (though using Joan Cusack solely as a perch for big hair was a waste of her talent. I know, I know, she was still young...).
On a sad note, I decided to check out the DVD last night (instead of watching my VHS tape), and was SHOCKED to find many crucial scenes cut. And on the copy I watched, there was no special feature of deleted scenes: it was as if the deleted scenes never existed!! I am so glad I bought the used VHS at a flea market.
It is clear there was a great deal of choreography in this, which is another reason I love it so much. It takes great skill, talent, and genius to move around the scenes like Mercedes Ruehl, Dean Stockwell, and Matthew Modine do from scene to scene (Note the scene when the grocery carts converge, the rolling on the floor during the shoot-out in Miami, the Chicken Lickin' debacle, the foot massage, the salon hair-washing.) There is a very "theatrical" feel to this film, which may be the turn-off for so many whose poor reviews follow: I know some viewers who don't quite understand this style mistake the exaggerations and over-the-top performances for poor acting and worse direction. Not so. Jonathan Demme does a great job bringing to life the entire company and their respective roles.
The opening credits and first scene rank among my all-time favorites, as well (another favorite opening credits/first scene: Fly Away Home).
Too bad Matthew Modine so ardently skipped out of the public eye; I really like him, and found his casting PERFECT in the role of Mike Smith. Actually, this film is well-cast from soup to nuts: everyone is believable and true to his role. As for the question of expecting audience to accept Pfeiffer and Stockwell as Italians - why not? I thought they pulled it off perfectly well.
Charming, fun, exciting... what is there not to like? If you want a little fun, watch this quirky, colorful adventure-mob-love story. If you are looking to learn more about organized crime and families, tune to HBO's The Sopranos.
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