Two Family House (2000)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  27 October 2000 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 1,399 users   Metascore: 79/100
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A dreamer finds that his wife and friends are binding him to his mediocre existence.


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3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Buddy Visalo
Mary O'Neary
Estelle Visalo
Jim O'Neary
Louis Guss ...
Rosemary De Angelis ...
Marie (as Rosemary Deangelis)
Saul Stein ...
Ivy Jones ...
Victor Arnold ...
Mr. Cicco
Richard B. Shull ...
Mr. Brancaccio


An unseen narrator looks back to 1956, on Staten Island, when Buddy, an Italian guy with big dreams, buys a house planning to live upstairs with his wife Estelle and run a bar downstairs. The first problem is Estelle's lack of confidence in Buddy. Then, Irish tenants upstairs refuse to move and won't pay rent; plus, the woman upstairs is about to have a baby. The next problem is the baby: once he's born, it's clear his father was Black. The Irish guy splits; Buddy evicts mother and child, then feels guilt and sets her up in a flat while she sorts out an adoption. Estelle's lack of faith, the Irish lass's spirit, Buddy's dream, racial prejudice, and the baby's fate play out. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The only way to find out what you love is to risk everything you have.


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and brief sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

27 October 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Casa pentru doua familii  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$30,316 (USA) (6 October 2000)


$1,015,055 (USA) (29 December 2000)

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


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Did You Know?


This movie is set in 1956. However, we see the Staten Island Ferryboat "The Gov. Herbert H. Lehman", which didn't go into service until the mid-1960s. See more »

Crazy Credits

Special thanks to ... the people of Bentley Avenue, Jersey City, NJ, ... the people of Port Richmond & Stapleton neighborhoods, Staten Island, NY, ... the crew of The Highlander ... See more »


References Arthur Godfrey and His Friends (1949) See more »


Calypso Italiano
Written by Christopher Guardino (as C. Guardino) and Raymond De Felitta (as R. DeFelitta)
Published by Empty Dawn Music, Other Chips Music
See more »

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User Reviews

Apartment for rent in private home in Staten Island
25 September 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

Raymond DeFelitta, the director of the current release, "The Thing About my Folks", working with his own material, created this wonderful film, which should be seen more often. Unfortunately, when this film first came out, it had wonderful notices, but alas, it disappeared too soon for us to catch up with it. Thanks to HBO, the film was shown recently and it proved to be worthy of the praise we had heard about.

The story takes place in the fifties. The characters at the center of the film, are basically Italian-Americans living in Staten Island. Buddy and Estelle Visalo, are the owners of a two family house in need of repairs. The upstairs apartment has been rented to an Irish couple, Mary and Jim, who are going through a rough moment in their lives.

Buddy, with the help of his friends from the tavern that is the social meeting point of the neighborhood, is trying to evict the couple upstairs, after it's clear they are up to no good and can't pay the rent. It proves to be too late because Mary begins her labor pains and Estelle, who doesn't like the woman, helps in the delivery. But horror of horrors, the little baby proves to be much more than what Mary was expecting, and Jim abandons her.

The Italian landlord develops a friendship toward Mary, who he succeeds in evicting, but feels terribly about it. He rescues her from the flea bag hotel where she is staying since her own sister doesn't want her. Buddy finds, and pays, for an apartment for Mary and her son. It's clear that Buddy and Mary go from a friendship into a relationship that will change their lives forever.

The film works because the charismatic work of Michael Rispoli, who as Buddy, is a man with a heart of gold. Mr. Rispoli is an actor that is always good, no matter what character he plays. Also the movie has an inspired performance by Kelly MacDonald. Ms. MacDonald does good work as Mary. The supporting cast, Kartherine Narducci, Kevin Conway, Matt Servitto, Vincent Pastore, and the rest, are perfect.

We look forward future endeavors by Raymond DeFelitta, who proves with this film he can tell a story that involves the viewer in more ways than some others. "Two Family House" is a small movie, with a big heart!

12 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Who was the narrator? canta44
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