An aging Brooklyn mob boss summons his nephew Robert Monte, a Wall Street whiz kid who has been shielded from the "Family" business. The Don solicits a promise that if anything happens to him, Robert will steer his wiseguy crew legit so that they will not spend the rest of their lives in jail. Robert surrenders a reluctant promise. When his uncle dies suddenly, Robert transforms the mob social club into a real estate office and struggles to navigate the mob crew into legitimate careers. Meanwhile, a gorgeous FBI agent named Julie Capp works feverishly to build RICO indictments against Robert and his crew who just can't help reverting to their old-school hoodlum ways. In the scramble, Robert and Julie find themselves fiercely attracted to one another. Will these star crossed lovers find romance? Will Robert succeed in steering his crew legit? Will Julie's RICO indictments fall? Written by
Under New Management, a wonderful take on the Mafia genre, concerns a socially conscious Wall Street Yuppie named Robert Monte (played superbly by Chris Diamantopoulos) with ties to the mob. Raised by his uncle, a capo, because his own father was whacked, he honors said uncle's dying wish to reform his crew by helping them go legit and generate enough revenue to pay a mob debt, lest they all meet their demise. Robert forms a real-estate company and the wise guys turn into real-estate agents. On their road to legitimacy, they find it helpful to occasionally return to their mob roots when they need a little extra boost to pull something off. All this happens under the watchful eyes of a couple of FBI agents, one of whom is a beautiful, Irish woman played by Kelly Overton; her relationship with Monte forms a major subplot that keeps you wondering whether she wants to put Monte away for life or have his baby. The movie is a drama mostly played for laughs, and I found it brilliant and hysterical, with Monte continually comparing the Mafia to Wall Street: "Bernie Madoff made you guys look like shoplifters." What's so funny is how true his opinions are. When the gang grumbles about paying taxes, he points out to them, would you rather pay taxes or lawyers? Pay FICA or do prison time? A rich cast of pros (many you will recognize from forays on The Sopranos), supported by an intelligent script by Denis Hamill made this a winner for me. I don't plan on erasing it from my DVR anytime soon.
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