cranky home
Reviews since 1993:   A-E     F-N      O-Z    Posters       Who We Are and Why We Do What We Do         Search the Site

Your Donations support the Site

amazon.gif
Top Selling DVD     Books

BLU-RAY DVDs:
50 Shades of Grey
Exodus Gods and Kings
Grand Budapest Hotel
Imitation Game, The
Into the Woods

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Robocop
Selma
Theory of Everything
Ride Along
We're the Millers
The Great Gatsby
Akira
Avatar
The Avengers
Amazing Spider-Man
Girl w/ Dragon Tattoo
Dark Knight Trilogy
World War Z
Happy Feet 2
Iton Man 3 combo
Batman Begins
Dark Knight
Fifth Element
The Hangover
Hunger Games
James Bond 11 disc coll.
Lord of the Rings trilogy
Mission Impossible GP
Sherlock Holmes AGOS
Singing in the Rain
Snow White Huntsman
Star Trek Into Darkness combo
Star Wars Saga
21 Jump Street
Ultimate Matrix coll
X-Men First Class
X-Men Trilogy
X-Men Wolverine

 BLU-Ray for Family DVDs 
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
Bambi
A Bug's Life
Cars
Chronicles of Narnia set
Coraline
Ghostbusters
Harry Potter 1-8 collection
Iron Man 2 combo
Kung Fu Panda
Lord of the Rings Trilogy Pinocchio
Pirates of Caribbean trilogy
Pixar short films
Ratatouille
Rio
Shrek the Whole Story
Sleeping Beauty
The Smurfs
combo
Snow White & 7 Dwarfs
Star Trek motion pictures set
Star Trek TNG Season One
Star Wars Saga (1-6)
Toy Story combo
Toy Story 2 combo
Toy Story 3 combo
Wall-E SE

OFCS

Search engine by FreeFind
Click to add search to YOUR web site!
click to search site

 DISNEY PIXAR DVDs
Alice in Wonderland
Bambi
Beauty and the Beast
Bolt
Cinderella
Coraline
E.T.
Kung Fu Panda
The Lion King
Mary Poppins 45th LE
Pinocchio
Princess Mononoke
Ratatouille
Rio 
Shrek the Whole Story
Simpsons Movie
Spider-Man Trilogy
Spirited Away
Star Trek movies set
Star Trek TOS (TV)
ST:TNG complete tv set
Star Wars Trilogy (1-3)
Star Wars Trilogy (4-6)
Toy Story DVD combo
Toy Story 2 DVD combo
Toy Story 3 DVD combo
Wallace and Gromit
Wall-E SE

Buy Movie collectibles
TV/Movie Collectibles

movie review query engine

NY film critics online

Privacy Policy


click for full sized poster

Two Family House

Starring Michael Rispoli, Kelly MacDonald, Katherine Narducci, Matt Servitto and Kevin Conway
Written and Directed by Raymond De Felitta
website: www.twofamilyhouse.com

IN SHORT: A sweet love story, with edges sharper than steel. [Rated R for language and brief sexuality. 104 minutes]

Featuring faces from the supporting cast of HBO's The Sopranos, with language to match, Two Family House demonstrates just how wide the ethnic gulf was and, racial feelings were, back in 1956. At its root, Two Family House is a story of how far one man will go to pursue his dreams. At its surface, it is reminiscent of a long ago radio show called The Bickersons, in which husband and wife were constantly fighting. In this story, though, there is rarely a happy ending . . . until, of course, you get to one.

Welcome to an Italian community on Staten Island, New York in 1956. Once upon a time Buddy Visalo (Michael Rispoli), uniformed entertainer during World War II, is seen performing Arthur Godfrey. Godfrey, well-known from the radio (and soon to be television), tells Buddy to give him a call when the war is over, implying that there may be a job in the high paying world of broadcast entertainment. Try explaining that to the love of Buddy's wife Estelle (Katherine Narducci). Or Estelle's mother. Or the rest of her family, all of whom insist that Buddy get a "real" job (in this case working in a bakery factory) before he marries Estelle, or else. And, by the way, but he has to make the decision now or the wedding is off.

Let us remind you of the fact that casual sex was not a casual thing back around World War II, or so we have been told. At least, not in really good Catholic families. So Buddy and Estelle spend 11 years in a twin sized bed in momma's house.

The guy's got ambition. He tries, again and again, to come up with a workable business (limousine service, painter, pizza delivery) that will get him independence from a 12 hour a day grind at the factory and the life in hell his mother in law's house offers. Buddy wants a home. He wants a business, and a two family run down house in Staten Island seems to be the answer to his dreams -- actually, run down is a complement. If there had been a This Old House in 1956, even they would've condemned the place. In the house, there's a large apartment upstairs, and a grand space downstairs that will make a perfect bar and lounge.

Only problem with the plan is that there's an Irish couple in the house. Jim O'Neary (Kevin Conway) is a drunk. Wife Mary (Kelly Macdonald) is about to drop a kidlet. It's a contentious situation 'cuz the pair haven't paid the rent and have no intention of doing so. For some obscure reason, The Law is on their side, guaranteeing their place in the house.

So, Buddy's got tenants he doesn't want. Renovations he has to work double shift to pay for and a wife that's undercutting him at every turn. Estelle is, to put it mildly, a real peace of work. From a guy's perspective, we have to wonder just what it was that Buddy saw in this incredibly negative, sarcastic and demeaning (to him) life partner. He's a loyal husband but he's also willing to do things that, at first appearance, make him look like a cheater. That's all you need to know.

Writer/Director Raymond De Felitta has managed to do what we rarely see in independent movies. He's written a good story and he's told it well. He's given his actors characters with solid backgrounds to work with and while Rispoli and Macdonald do good work, you're going to drop your jaw over Narducci's Estelle. And while both Rispoli and Narducci have recurring roles on The Sopranos, it is more than likely that you'll have better facial recognition when Vincent Pastore hits the screen, as Buddy's bartender and friend Angelo.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Two Family House, he would have paid...

$5.50

A rating a shade higher than the usual big studio dateflicks get. Two Family House is doing one of those slow rollouts, trying to build word of mouth from the indie circuit. Most of the time, and unfortunately in this case, it's more than likely you'll have to see it on tape. With the warning about language in mind, please do.

Click Here!

The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2017  by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.