DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

MARRIED TO THE MOB (director: Jonathan Demme; screenwriters: Barry Strugatz/Mark R. Burns; cinematographer: Tak Fujimoto; editor: Craig McKay; music:  David Byrne; cast: Michelle Pfeiffer (Angela De Marco), Alec Baldwin (Frank 'the Cucumber' De Marco), Dean Stockwell  (Tony 'The Tiger' Russo), Matthew Modine (Mike Downey), Joan Cusack (Rose), Mercedes Ruehl (Connie Russo), Oliver Platt (Ed Benitez), Ellen Foley (Theresa), O-Lan Jones (Phyllis), Anthony J. Nici  (Joey De Marco), David Johansen (The Priest), Sister Carol East (Rita 'Hello Gorgeous' Harcourt); Runtime: 104; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Kenneth Utt/Edward Saxon; Orion ome Video; 1988)

"Offbeat genial suburban gangster comedy delightfully directed by Jonathan Demme."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Offbeat genial suburban gangster comedy delightfully directed by Jonathan Demme ("Robyn Hitchcock - Storefront Hitchcock"/"Neil Young: Heart of Gold"/"The Agronomist"). Writers Barry Strugatz and Mark B. Burns keep it inventive, goofy and ethnic.

Unhappily married Long Island suburban housewife Angela De Marco (Michelle Pfeiffer), with a son Joey (Anthony J. Nici), finds herself with new opportunities when her mid-level Mafia hubby, Frank 'the Cucumber' (Alec Baldwin), is bumped off gangland style on a commuter train. Angela just told her insensitive unresponsive hubby, "Everything we own, eat, wear, fell off a truck."

The hit was ordered by the head of the mob family, Tony the Tiger (Dean Stockwell), a slickly dressed slimeball. When Angela moves to a railroad flat in NYC's rundown Lower East Side neighborhood and aims to distance herself from the Mafia, the obsessive lover boy, Tony, nevertheless courts her there. Even though she shows no interest in his romantic advances, he persists. Inept FBI agent Mike Downey (Matthew Modine) has a tail on Tony and assumes Angela is his mistress and planned the murder of her hubby with the mob boss. Mike moves in next door and poses as Angela's friendly neighbor, but gets attracted to his suspect and his spy activity lags. Meanwhile Angela gets a job at Hello Gorgeous, a beauty salon run by Rita 'Hello Gorgeous' Harcourt (Sister Carol East), fends off the foul-mouthed tirades directed at her by Tony's jealous harridan wife Connie (Mercedes Ruehl) and wrestles with going to the Department of Justice despite warned by the don not to.

The appropriate theme song for such lightweight festivities, Mambo Italiano,'' is sung by Rosemary Clooney.

REVIEWED ON 2/2/2015       GRADE: B-

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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