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Two Family House

44 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Michael Rispoli, Kelly Macdonald, Vincent Pastore. Multilayered and inspiring comedy/drama about a machinist in 1950s New York who decides to open a bar in the basement of a house he just bought. But he can't get the current occupant-a very pregnant woman-to move out. DVD is Signature Series. 2000/color/109 min/R.


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Rispoli, Kelly Macdonald, Kathrine Narducci, Kevin Conway, Matt Servitto
  • Directors: Raymond De Felitta
  • Writers: Raymond De Felitta
  • Producers: Adam Brightman, Al Klingenstein, Anne Harrison, Bernie DeLeo, Jim Kohlberg
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Lions Gate Films
  • DVD Release Date: July 22, 2003
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009MEBQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,365 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Two Family House" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By BeachReader on June 10, 2001
Format: DVD
What an absolutely lovely film this was. And what a shame it never enjoyed wider release, for it is eminently worth viewing. I was even more delighted when I found out that it really was based on a true story...the director/writer is Buddy's nephew.
Buddy Visalo is a lovable, warm, and bumbling dreamer whose wife Estelle constantly deflates his trial balloons--because she is expected to by her culture and the times they lived in. She wants Buddy to take no chances and would rather he kept a job he hated than try something new and more daring.
To realize his dream, Buddy must ignore Estelle and also evict the pregnant Mary O'Neary from the upstairs of the place where he hopes to start his bar. This eviction pains him greatly. How he assuages his pain and helps her out is the heart and soul of "Two-Family House".
This is a movie about doing good for someone and expecting nothing in return, about trying to fulfill a dream and dealing with the obstacles that are in your way. It is not a complex movie with a hidden agenda and messages tangled up in a lot of gimmickry. There are serious themes treated seriously, but never in a preachy way. It is just uplifting and full of truths with a hero who is Everyman. As one reviewer said ...."Buddy is off on an adventure that surprises even him. To accompany him is to experience filmgoing joy."
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Robert J. Kresse on January 7, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
A great movie with many outstanding performances by relatively, really relatively, unknowns. Heartwarming, humorous, nostalgic, totally elevating and causing much reflection on how humans treat one another today, in the past and with hope for the future. Very hard to forget this movie, its characters and its lessons. Hope not to.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 29, 2001
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This was simply the most appealing movie we've seen in years. It was touching, funny, moving and romantic. Unlike most romantic comedies it entertains men and women equally.The music alone makes it worthwhile. A must see for anyone from 18-80!
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Rita Meter Maid on June 16, 2001
Format: DVD
This is essentially a character study of a decent guy, Buddy Visalo, who realizes 11 years into his marriage to Estelle that his family and friends are his jailers, stopping him from realizing his dreams of running a tavern. Estelle crushed his dream of auditioning for Arthur Godfrey's TV show, now she would have him stay at a mind numbing factory job for the sake of conformity. He buys a two-family house (against Estelle's objections), and when he meets his upstairs tenants, an Irish-American boozehound and his pregnant wife, his life starts to change. There is a happy ending, there is virtually no profanity (hurray!), and the setting of time and place, 1956 in Staten Island, NY, is realistic. Many of the actors are from The Sopranos, and this enhances the sense of familiarity one feels instantly with this group of Italian-Americans leading ordinary lives. There are no big speeches, no grandstanding displays of emotions, just the quiet depiction of a man re-gaining his own sense of self worth after years after putting his dreams on hold. Buddy is a decent guy, and you cheer him on his journey.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Ward on May 25, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
This is one of the sweetest, most intelligent, authentic films of the decade: perfectly acted, beautifully directed. It's one of the first films I've seen in a long time that gives the story time to breathe. It's a pleasure to see the Sopranos cast giving this simple story their best attention. In a better world TWO FAMILY HOUSE would have gotten the Oscar. It's like MARTY but with more grit, and deserves a wide audience.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Scot Waldrop on July 5, 2003
Format: DVD
A married Italian man falls in love with an Irish woman whose husband left because she gave birth to a black baby! All of this occurs in 1950's Staten Island.
You'll recognize many of the cast members from the Sopranos, but this is no mafia story.
Michael Rispoli is excellent in his search for happiness amid a variety of social issues faced. Marital, familial, ethnic and racial relations are all explored, and the result is a warm, funny and entertaining movie.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth M. Gelwasser VINE VOICE on September 16, 2005
Format: DVD
As a movie fan, every once in awhile, I surprise myself by finding a small, unknown, cinematic treasure, that is truely an enjoyable experience. This seems to be the case, when one night at a sleepless 2am, I found the wonderfully, nostalgic drama, "Two family House" on HBO. There is no big budget, ego filled superstar actors, over done special effects or loud explosions. All this film seems to offer up is a moving script and fine, nuanced performances from the actors. "Two Family House" takes place in a working class, Italian neighborhood of 1950's Staten Island. Buddy Visalo (Michael Rispoli) is a little guy with big dreams and a plan to fulfill them. He wants to own a bar and fulfill his aspirations of singing in front of an audience. His plan is to buy a two family home, construct and build the bar on the bottom and rent out the second floor to borders to make the venture pay for itself. Unfortunately, his wife, Estelle (Katherine Narducci) dosn't share in his dreams, nor does she have any confidence in her husband being successful at anything. This is a women, who is deeply afraid of being made a laughing stock and is almost obsessed with conforming to the social standards of the neighborhood and community. All is going to plan, until the appearance of the upstairs renters, a married Irish couple expecting a baby. The Irish women, Mary (Kelly Macdonald) gives birth to a mixed-race child. She is subsequently abandoned by her husband and thrown out of the house by Buddy and an insistant, Estelle. Feeling guilty, Buddy secretly helps Mary out and soon a relationship transpires. Mary, a tough and very proud women, turns out to believe in Buddy and his dreams. She helps him realize, what is holding him back in achieving them.Read more ›
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