FEATURE FILM REVIEW
INHERITANCE, ITALIAN STYLE
Five sisters return to their home in Sicily to divide the family art and furniture. Chaos ensues.
WHEN THE TIME COMES to bequeath family assets, it can often lead to very emotional situations and events, as is the case with the Parlazzi family during Inheritance, Italian Style. Five sisters return to their family home to divide the material assets with their mother, Mallatta (Dawn Campion), as their host and what comes next is textbook family dysfunction. All for the viewing pleasure of the movie's audience.
As the family gathers, the audience is quickly introduced to the five sisters and their families, and almost immediately, the family divide is evident. The sisters are all different, but most are successful career-wise, but there has to be something, right? That "something" is with the families of the sisters, in particular the husbands. This is clearly a family that can't seem to get their "soul mates" right, and I knew almost immediately that the husbands and the sisters would play a massive role in the humor. There's even a subplot that comes much later in the film involving a stolen piece of valuable art, but mostly, this movie focuses on the interactions of the family itself and ends on a positive note that semi-mends some of the crazy family dynamics. If only real-life situations could all end with a golden lining.
ONE OF MY ONLY CONCERNS WITH THIS FILM WAS THE FEW SUBPLOTS THAT ACTUALLY TOOK AWAY FROM THE MAIN STORY.
Watching all the chaos taking place is a little crazy, and more than once, I asked if there were any "normal" people in this family, other than the children who offered up a breath of fresh, normal air. Well, later on in the film, they did. The rest was a mish-mash of unfaithfulness, crookedness, craziness, and even some secrets. Initially, the biggest question was why the family estate didn't include the house? That was answered, but I kept wondering if the "answer" could have been left alone. Because Inheritance, Italian Style focused mainly on the characters themselves, I wondered why the side story involving the mother was even included. It just served as another plot point to complicate things and didn't do much for the overall story. One of my only real concerns with this film was the few subplots that actually took away from the main story. Depth is a good thing but only when needed. I would have rather seen more of the kids trying to make sense of their crazy relatives.
EVEN THE SUPPORTING CHARACTERS WITH LESS SCREEN TIME ARE PRETTY FUNNY.
About those relatives? You'll probably enjoy watching them because most of the jokes in the film are character-driven. Even the supporting characters with less screen time are pretty funny. Anyone seen my cat? But it also becomes apparent that eventually, Inheritance, Italian Style doesn't quite know what it wants to be. Comedy, drama, feel-good movie? These are all genres that often work well together, but sometimes, if you're not careful, one genre starts to eat into another. Doug Bremner's film does have identity issues but never too bad. I would have loved it if the stolen art plot was introduced much sooner, or not at all. Although it did add a bit of douchiness to the character involved, it really wasn't needed. But also, if it were a more fleshed-out idea, it could have been worth its weight in gold.
IT'S THE FAMILY ANGLE THAT PLAYS A HUGE ROLE IN THIS MOVIE, AND IT'S AN ANGLE THE FILM GETS RIGHT.
The acting may feel a little shaky sometimes, or maybe a joke doesn't quite hit here or there, but overall this was a pretty good film. Inheritance, Italian Style is about change, mistakes, and even finding love in the oddest places. But it's the family angle that plays a huge role in this movie, and it's an angle the film gets right. Family may be imperfect and insane, but still, family is family, and family bonds are strong.
DROP A COMMENT, RATE THE MOVIE, OR SHARE?