laboured and lacklustre comedy is excruciatingly unfunny, and falls flat
No this is not another film in Martin Lawrence's diabolically unfunny Big Momma's franchise! Taking its cues from the likes of They're A Weird Mob and The Wogboy, Big Mamma's Boy is a local comedy that trades on broad cultural stereotypes and potentially offensive ethnic centric humour for small laughs. To say that it makes the recent Nick Giannopoulos comedy Wogboy 2: The Kings Of Mykonos look sophisticated is to damn it with faint praise. This laboured and lacklustre comedy is excruciatingly unfunny, and falls flat. Big Mamma's Boy is the brainchild of former stand up comic Frank Lotito, who has not only written the script but also taken on the lead role. Lotito plays Rocco Pileggi, a 35-year old real estate agent, who stills lives at home with his overly possessive and widowed mother Teresa (Carmelina Di Gugliemo). When he meets Katie (former pop star and Neighbours star Holly Valance), a rival real estate agent, he considers moving out of home, much to Mamma's displeasure. First time feature film director and co-writer Franco Di Chiera is an AFI award winner who comes from a background in documentary and television drama. But he seems unable to restrain his performers and instil in them a sense of subtlety, comic timing and nicely nuanced performances. Consequently most of the performances are hamfisted and awkward, and play to shrill stereotypes, caricatures and mannerisms. Worst of all is Lotito, a terribly uncharismatic leading man whose performance is flat, over the top and embarrassingly one-dimensional. Comic George Kapiniaris also fares badly with his boisterous performance as Rocco's boss. And Valance is unable to do much with a character that lacks depth. Theatre veteran Di Gugliemo has a few good moments as Mamma, and a wonderful running joke sees her often on her death bed after collapsing following some of Rocco's embarrassing moments. And veteran Maria Venuti brings a sultry and seductive quality to her improbable role as Rocco's neighbour who willingly teaches him some of the essential survival skills for a potential bachelor cooking, ironing, etc.
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