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Mambo Italiano

126 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Fifty years ago, Gino and Maria came to Canada, and never quite recovered. They thought the surprises were over, but that was before their son Angelo broke the news . . . he wants to quit his stable job as a travel agent to become a TV writer, and he's in love with his best friend, a police officer named Nino. For Gino and Maria, tradition is about to come undone, and family is going to take on a whole new meaning.

Amazon.com

Set in the Little Italy neighborhood of Montreal, Mambo Italiano is a fresh and enjoyable take on gay relationships. After reconnecting with an estranged childhood friend, Angelo (Luke Kirby) discovers that he and Nino (Peter Miller) have more in common than just their Italian heritage and suffocating families. After they move in together, Angelo finds that he can't stand being in the closet any longer--but Nino, who's a cop and much more attached to passing as straight, resists. After Angelo tells his parents (Ginette Reno and Paul Sorvino), their lives explode and Angelo discovers that coming out may cost him everything he held dear. The emphasis on ethnic humor threatens to turn Mambo Italiano into My Big Gay Italian Wedding, but the clever writing, sprightly performances, and inventive direction keep the movie consistently unpredictable and funny. Also featuring Claudia Ferri as Angelo's neurotic sister. --Bret Fetzer


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Luke Kirby, Ginette Reno, Paul Sorvino, Mary Walsh
  • Directors: Emile Gaudreault
  • Format: AC-3, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 17, 2004
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00000F5B5
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,861 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Mambo Italiano" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Daryl B on March 29, 2004
Format: DVD
I read some reviews about this film when it was released that called it the [homosexual] "My Big Fat Greek Wedding". And while it plays a little too heavily on the Italian-american stereotype, it is a charming film about a young man coming to terms with who he is and his neurotic family's response.
Angelo is a nice young man who was always picked on in school, even by his one-time closest friend, Nino. As adults, Nino and Angelo are reunited and become lovers. Everything is perfect for the young couple until Angelo decides he wants to come out to his family. Once Nino's mother finds out, things begin to unhinge. It is easy to root for the once ostracized Angelo, who always took the abuse of others while keeping his sexual orientation private. Anyone who has felt outcast or different in their lives will be able to understand his situation and determination to live his life honestly and openly.
This is not a perfect film but it does have its touching moments and enough laughs to keep you interested. Though I didn't like it as much as "Greek Wedding", I still think it is worth watching.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By R. Varner on August 7, 2004
Format: DVD
This does remind me of "My Big Fat greek wedding" without seeming like a ripoff to me. My friends and I were very entertained and laughed out loud several times. I cannot imagine anyone not liking this movie unless you were looking for a political statement or some deep message. It is just a cute well-acted funny movie with a "coming out" theme among all the other relationships, and sometimes that is enough!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 29, 2004
Format: DVD
Gay Italians coming out of the closet? Dysfunctional Italian families? Sound all too familiar? Well, what surprised me the most about Mambo Italiano was its uniqueness and originality. Granted, there is nothing new under the sun, but Mambo combines elements of Maurice (gay men trapped by social convention), Moonstruck (Italians in love), and even The Way We Were (unrequited love) in a manner that is fresh and fun. Billed as a comedy (and funny, indeed), Mambo never forgets its fundamental and powerful messages: the importance of family, of being oneself, and of fighting social convention.
Angelo, our lovable lead, grew up in a stereotypical Italian family. At school, he is taunted for being a "fag" and even abandoned by his best friend Nino. At that point, his only joy in life is his Aunt Yolanda. Years later, he becomes a travel agent and does what no single Italian does: move out of his parents' home. By chance Nino, now a hunky policeman, re-enters his life. Nino moves in with Angelo and they become lovers. The conflict begins because Angelo does not want to stay in the closet and live a lie. Nino prefers the closet. Angelo tells his parents what is going on and all hell breaks loose.
In comedies, I always expect the happy ending. But Mambo instead follows the path of Maurice and The Way We Were. In The Way We Were, we know Streisand is madly in love with Redford, but we're never quite sure if Redford feels the same way for Streisand. The same is true of Angelo and Nino. Angelo is head over heels over Nino, but we're never quite sure how Nino feels for Angelo. Remember the final encounter between Redford and the teary-eyed Streisand? I did when I saw the final scene between Nino and Angelo.
In short, I recommend this movie. Well-acted, funny, moving, and realistic, it is a worthy addition to any DVD collection (not just the gay man's).
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jim B. on May 22, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Let me start with "I liked this movie." It includes every stereotype of Italians you can think of (well, none of the mob stuff), and much of the content of many a gay movie. It is nothing new, but you laugh a great deal. The odd thing about it is that I laughed through the movie, yet it left me feeling oddly sad. Of course there is a happy ending, but not the one you expect. Maybe more realistic. And, as real life so often is, a bit bittersweet. Watch it with a friend - you may be able to have a very interesting conversation afterwards - and you will already have had a good laugh.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By isis on September 12, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I'm not going to review the plot... amazon provides a decent one. I'm just going to supply my thoughts on the film.

I first watched Mambo Italiano with my Sicilian mother and both of us almost fell off the couch laughing as we could relate to the characters because he Italian families featured in this film reminded us of our own Italian family... and Gino's mother is the classic Sicilian older woman (she's a lot like my aunts). The plot is out there but not far fetched. It really captures what growing up first generation Italian-American is all about (even though the film is Canadian). Just like My Big Fat Greek Wedding, you don't have to be of the culture (Italian, or GLBT) to understand the humor, you just have to be opened minded as it is a GLBT film. I've recommended it to many friends and all have thanked me profusely for the recommendation after they viewed it. But I might add, the film is filled with great one-liners that you might need to be Italian to understand.

Also, I think Paul Sorvino gives a great performance. He plays the father so well, it reminded me of my Roman father. All the characters are great, but Sorvino gives a very convincing performance albeit a comical one. When he says "No one hates my job more than me!" I fall over laughing because I can picture my own father saying that!

Whether you're Italian or not, this movie is a must have and I totally recommend picking it up and viewing it multiple times! It will not fail to make your stomach hurt from laughing.
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