In Corinth, a dying town 15 miles from Pittsburg: One evening, a Japanese businessman, who wanted to tear down the closed iron mills to build an amusement park, is found half dead in his ... See full summary »
A comedy of a guy who moonlights as a low-budget director of commercials, and is looking for someone to love. So, he pays a dating service and is videotaped on several occasions. The film ... See full summary »
Around 1940, New Yorker staff writer Joe Mitchell meets Joe Gould, a Greenwich Village character who cadges meals, drinks, and contributions to the Joe Gould Fund and who is writing a ... See full summary »
Jimmy is married to the abusive Frank, but she's building a nest egg so she can leave. For a year, she's been deaf as a result of one of his beatings. One night, he pushes her over the ... See full summary »
"A Modern Affair" is a romantic comedy about the strain of contemporary relationships, one woman's urgent desire for parenthood, and a solution to it all. Grace Rhodes is the perfect ... See full summary »
Chris plays himself as a low-key, nebbishy rock star fumbling sincerely with mundane neighborhood & bizarre rock god situations, with the help but more often, hindrance of his band & ... See full summary »
An aspiring singer, Denise Waverly/Edna Buxton, sacrifices her own singing career to write hit songs that launch the careers of other singers. The film follows her life from her first break... See full summary »
Young Tommy Hudler decides to become a security systems salesman, and is an instant success. Everything seems to be going great until he discovers there's more to this business and his boss... See full summary »
Bridget Fonda's final feature film role before retiring from screen acting in 2002. See more »
At the end of the film in Naples harbor, the winner of the fireworks display is announced and Joey, Val and Contessa are in the background sitting among the spectators behind the announcer (upper right hand corner of the screen). However, at the very same time, Val and Contessa are standing with Giovanni in another part of the harbor, shown in the previous and next shots. See more »
THE WHOLE SHEBANG is a movie made for television, a category that in some circles places a hex, but in the case of HBO films it is a definite plus! This little unpretentious story plays like a sweet foreign film like 'Life is Beautiful' and is directed (George Zaloom) with zest and played by an all star cast that makes it a fine evening's entertainment.
The Bazzini family of Neptune, New Jersey owns a fireworks business in competition with the Zito family whose entrepreneurial instincts are decidedly more 'American'. The head of the Bazinni family is Pop (Giancarlo Giannini) and Contessa (Talia Shire) and the heir apparent is Frank (Christian Boucher) who is a fine pyrotechnician but is unfaithful to his non-Italian wife Val (Bridget Fonda). As the story opens Frank is perfecting the 'blue' firework and while working he is distracted by his latest lady conquest who diverts his attention causing the whole Bazinni Fireworks Plant to literally blow up. Though the family is devastated at Frank's death, Pop looks for the next head of the company to replace Frank, and at the wake the Zito family Lady Zito (Anna Maria Alberghetti looking terrific!) inserts her son Joey (Anthony DeSando) into an evil-planned courtship of the newly widowed Val in hopes of overtaking the Bazinni business.
Meanwhile, in Naples Italy we meet Giovanni Bazinni (Stanley Tucci, in fine form as a comedian!), a cousin to the American Bazinnis and a poor café musician unlucky in love and life. He repeatedly attempts suicide but each attempt is comically thwarted. His passion is for Maria (Jo Champa) a gold digger slut who dismisses Giovanni's affections with cold harshness. News of the Bazinni disaster in America arrives and Giovanni is sent to New Jersey to inherit the fireworks business. Once in New Jersey in flounders around the language and the business, is attracted to Val and to her son Bobby (Alexander Milani) and is adored by the Bazinni clan. In time Giovanni's good intentions often backfire (!) and the politics between the Bazinnis and the Zitos collide. The resolution of the story proves that honesty and family ties and creative perseverance result in happy endings.
The 'Italian gioio' created by this fine cast is infectious and each of the characters adds to the recipe with style. Tucci is in top form as are Giannini, Fonda, and Alberghetti. They make this rather slight script worth believing, never coming across as imitating but as embodying their roles. The frequent use of fireworks is joyous and well done and adds to the sparkle of the film. Not a great movie but certainly a solid one for a tender summer night's entertainment.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?