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Angelo Barberini is the oddball son of Italian immigrants Gino and Maria, who inadvertently ended up in Canada rather than the States. Angelo shocks his parents by moving out on his own without getting married, and shocks them further still when he reveals that he's gay. But his boyfriend, policeman Nino Paventi isn't as ready to come out of the closet -- especially not to his busybody mother, Lina. Written by
Shannon Patrick Sullivan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Not for clueless heteros or over-sensitive Italians
This very clever and fun little film has had more off-base reviews written about it than any film in history. Way too many reviewers react with horror at - gasp - stereotypical representations of Italians. They neglect the fact that in actual fact the Italian-ness is 100% of the charm and beauty of the film, and that not one of the Italians are not people we have all seen in real life. They also neglect the fact that Italian culture and tradition has seldom looked so good or as real as it does in "Mambo Italiano." The Italian sister is heroic in her actions, and the Italian parents who come around in he end are just like parents of ANY nationality. I really fail to see what all the squawking about "negative stereotypes" is all about.
As a Southerner and as a gay man I know something about stereotyping. All groups get stereotyped. This is not necessarily a bad thing, unless it is the ONLY representation of a group that society ever sees. We all need to see the true diversity of any group. I think we have all seen plenty of other Italians and gay persons now, so we don't have to worry that a viewer will see this movie and assume that all Italians and gay men are like the folks in "Mambo Italiano." But frankly, if they did, I think they would have rather positive images of Italians. Unfortunately they would leave the theater thinking that half of all gay men get married to women in order to hide the fact that they are gay. Luckily I suspect most folks know this is not the case, though it certainly does happen, since society still makes it impossible for some of us to stay in certain professions and be gay at the same time (cops, firemen, coaches, soldiers in the U.S., pro athletes...).
"Mambo Italiano" is hilarious and light-hearted. It is a big mistake to try to read too much into it. Just sit back, relax, and laugh. It is one heck of a clever, funny little film, with a surprise ending. Betcha can't guess how it ends!
33 of 39 people found this review helpful.
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