Sunday, June 24, 2007

American Cousins: Grade C

American Cousins (2003)

Gerald Lepkowski, Shirley Henderson, Danny Nucci, Vincent Pastore, Dan Hedaya. Director Don Coutts.

A couple of American mobsters (Hedaya and Nucci) on the run lay low in Glasgow with some Italian-Scots relatives who run a cafĂ© (Lepkowski and Henderson). The mobsters claim to be in “public relations” but Henderson suspects Mafia. When local extortionists put pressure on the restaurant owner (Lepkowski), the Jersey boys know how to handle it. Satire of the mobster genre is delicious and this indie movie could have used a lot more of that. But actually the central story is the developing romance between Henderson and Lepkowski, with some jealousy provided by the charming Nucci. The characters are attractive but the drama is without tension. There is a flash-bang gun battle but it is not distinctive or memorable in any way except that nobody gets killed. The ending is a humorous but mild and strained joke. Watchable, inoffensive, amusing.

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