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American Cousins
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American Cousins More at IMDbPro »

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10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Warm, funny, romantic, quirky and a wonderful sound-track

Author: filmfan2004 from United Kingdom
22 May 2003

American Cousins was shown at the film festival market in Cannes, France, and went down a storm with the audience. Warm, funny, romantic, quirky, and a wonderful sound-track. The talk in the ladies' restroom afterward was why aren't there more movies like this; movies that make you feel good and leave you with a smile on your face.

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Thoughtful mobster-comedy-drama fusion with independent mentality

Author: D A from SoFla, UsA
20 March 2007

A pleasant diversion from the mostly shallow and obnoxious gangster genre, American Cousins is a welcome script for wiseguy scenarios, injecting a surprising amount of tenderness and authenticity into the limited budget release. Taking place mainly in Scotland, the story revolves around two US mafioso's who end up having to stash away in this grey-splattered alternate universe, substituting guns and drugs with fish and chips. It is a charming little niche film that got a moderate amount of low-key critical praise, but will likely find a tough time among American markets. The whole Eurofellas vibe, while quite appealing to anyone looking for different angles to detail these types of characters, will largely go unnoticed by most organized crime fans from an emphasis focusing on the intimate and subtly amusing aspects of these hoodlums journey. Also, the heavy Scottish accents, paired with a somewhat bleak production should all but guarantee the movie need not appeal to the chief demographic it was made for on this side of the pond, which might be a good thing.

While the film may not be a hit for the Sopranos set (despite the extended cameo from Vincent Pastore), the gentle and impressively nuanced talent found in this heartfelt synthesis of writer, director and acting overrides most of the film's shoddy production. In turns funny, heartfelt, and vengeful, potency found within this mild hybrid becomes solidified by the great casting choices exemplified by the understated romanticism of lead Gerald Lepkowski and anchored by an always gruffly adorable Dan Hedaya. Do not let the generic cover art fool you, this is about as indie and subtle the gangster drama has veered.

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Little Italy in Scotland

Author: sofiesworld from Germany
28 March 2006

I watched this movie for the first time on a flight back from Australia to Germany in early 2004. Living as a foreigner in a country I wasn't born in may have made me a little more susceptible to the story. And the fact that I spent three months in Scotland a couple of years ago also helped. Anyway, I liked the story a lot.

Mind you it is not without fault but not many films are. They are just as fallible as their creators I daresay. It is worth watching though and the cast (especially the late great Russell Hunter) delivered a most believable performance. If there are some stereotypical characters in the story - so what? Ever watched one of the so-called Hollywood blockbusters? That's what I call so stereotypical that it actually hurts my intellect just to think that I wasted my hard-earned money on that kind of rubbish.

I wish there were a lot more films like that one!

Mille grazie, Sergio.

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9 out of 14 people found the following review useful:


Author: Ali_Catterall from London, England
7 September 2004

'The best British rom-com/culture-clash comedy in years' it says on the DVD cover. As the writer of the above blurb, I'm happy to say I haven't changed my opinion one iota. It's basically Local Hero meets The Sopranos. After a botched European hit, Mafia types Gino (Nucci) and Settimo (Dan Hedaya) take refuge in a Glasgow fish and chip shop run by their sweet-natured, stamp-collecting cousin, the Scottish/Italian Roberto (Gerald Lepkowski). When Gino takes a shine to Roberto's fellow fryer Alice (a lazily vampish Henderson) it spurs his frustrated lovesick cousin into action and sets the scene for some hilarious one-upmanship. This really is a lovely, lovely film, beautifully performed, and by Lepkowski and Henderson in particular, as the lovers-in-waiting. Perfect for cosying up with on the sofa with someone spesh and, perhaps, a couple of kittens gamboling between your toes (gambling, even – I've nothing against cats betting among themselves.)

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

one of the better films from the uk

Author: peshawar6 from United Kingdom
10 February 2006

actually i'd give it 7.5 out of 10, but IMDb don't do fractions.

its an unusual film. beautifully made, unformulaic, and as good as a rom-com as any. both leads are not your normal romantic leading types, but shirley henderson and gerald lepowskiw have good chemistry. henderson is a very underrated actress. somehow, film feels very nourish, probably because its set in Glasgow, Scotland.

the ending's somewhat rushed, but altogether pretty impressive for a debut.

not quite shallow grave or trainspotting, but i'd rather watch this than any of the blockbuster Hugh Grant vehicles from Working Title

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Laugh, cry, feel good.

Author: dutyman from Ayr, Scotland
28 November 2003

I saw this film 7 hours ago and my sides still hurt from laughing. This is NOT high drama, but an excellent escapism film with well developed characters - deliberately stereotypes but they achieve the purpose of the director. Excellent acting - you'll walk out wiping the tears from your eyes and smiling at everybody.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Good things going for it.

Author: jaykay-1 from Los Angeles, CA
8 May 2003

Occasionally, a movie made overseas for domestic filmgoers is worthy of seeking a wider audience and this gem from Britain, screened at the 2003 American Film Market, is one of them. It has a lot of good stuff going for it.

Two American Mafioso types flee to Scotland when a deal in Kiev goes wrong. In Glasgow, they hide out with Bobbie, a cousin, who operates an ice cream parlor and fish-and-chip shop. Complications arise when a couple of inept Liverpool thugs, contracted by the Russian Mob, turn up to hunt down the visitors. As if this wasn't enough, loansharks are after Bobbie to collect on a loan.

All in all, a pleasant minor comedy which I liked a lot, mainly for its good intentions and above standard acting. Danny Nucci delivers a sympathetic performance as Bobbie augmented by Scottish-born Shirley Henderson, who plays Alice his wife.. She is an actress who first came to my attention with a brilliant performance as Marie Melmonte in the PBS tv miniseries "The Way We Live Now."

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Enjoyable Culture Clash Comedy!

Author: Kieran Green ( from Scotland
12 January 2006

'American Cousins' is a surprisingly enjoyable, comedy drama lensed in the rain soaked streets of Glasgow, Danny Nucci,and Dan Hedeya play Gino/Settimo respectively, two bumbling mafioso who are way in over their heads, when a botched deal with crooked Ukrainians goes sour ,they find themselves on the run and decide to pay their 'cousins a visit, The cousins in question are a Grandpa and Grandson duo Played by Gerald Lepowski, As Roberto, The late Russell Hunter as Nono, The two run an established fish and chip shop, in the heart of Glasgow's barrows area, The two mafioso lend the pair a hand in chasing off local debt collectors,and generally help run the establishment with hilarious consequences,The ever Brilliant,Shirley Henderson,plays Alice, the waitress whom Roberto lusts after, 'American Cousins' is one of the more enjoyable Scottish film's of recent years,

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

A film with a great sense of humour

Author: ninty9 ( from Calgary, Alberta, Canada
27 September 2003

I just got back from seeing this film at the 2003 Calgary International Film Festival. I had read good things going into it, and I was pretty well satisfied.

I won't give a synopsis of the story since if you read the other comments, it's there, however I will give a general overview of how I thought the film performed.

The acting was great. I really didn't have a problem with it. It was convincing, and to see some of the minor characters really stand out because of what they do and the way they do it was really nice to see. Gerald Lepkowski does a wonderful job as Roberto. We get to see his somewhat simple life and what is important to him. Shirley Henderson does a great job as well.

The plot is simple, but it works. There are a few surprises through out the film that are great. It makes it not predictable and keeps you interested because you aren't sure just what you'll find.

This is more of a comedy than a mobster type movie. And as that I think it does just fine. There are a lot of one liners, but they're amusing. As a mobster movie, this isn't, although you would think this by looking at it. It is very much about cousins, and family. 8/10

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Reminds you why you fell in love with cinema in the first place.

Author: salted_peanut from Scotland
4 June 2003

Two American Mafiosi are forced to lay-low with nice-guy Scottish cousin Bobby after a job in Eastern Europe goes badly wrong. Then one of them takes a liking to Bobby's girl, the other clashes with a local hood, and Bobby finds his world collapsing round him...

This extremely likeable movie is in the tradition of "Local Hero", with the comedy emerging naturally from the interplay of sympathetic, fully-drawn characters rather than gags thrown randomly into a pre-fabricated mould.

The romantic entanglements are also nicely drawn and paced. These seem like real people here, with real flaws and real feelings.

Great performances from Scottish actors Gerald Lepkowski, Shirley Henderson and Russell Hunter, and the American Cousins of the title, Danny Nucci (Titanic), Dan Hedaya (The Hurricane, Mulholland Drive) and Vincent Pastore (The Sopranos) add Hollywood sparkle.

One of those movies which remind you why you fell in love with cinema in the first place.

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