Directed by: Franco Di Chiera
Staring: Frank Lotito, Holly Valance, Carmelina Di Guglielmo
Sassi Rating: 3/5
Rocco Pileggi: smooth looks, great job, definite lady killer. No downside right? Except that he\’s 35 and his mother still packs his lunch everyday. Big Mamma\’s Boy follows Rocco (Frank Lotito) on the path to maturity as he finally realises he has to move out his mother’s house and into the real world. But Rocco soon realises he\’s going to have to choose between the love of his life (Holly Valance) and the love of his Mamma (Carmelina Di Guglielmo).
Director Franco Di Chiera has said that he is a great believer in classical storytelling and you really get that from this film. Big Mamma\’s Boy is a traditional romantic-comedy which guides you safely along the trodden path of boy meets girl, boy stuffs-it-up with girl, boy finds his way back to girl formula. But instead of relying on this recipe Big Mamma\’s Boy uses it as a base to amplify the charm of the characters and the nuances of the Italian-Australian humour.
Because we\’ve all known a guy like Rocco right? And we at least all know of a Mamma, a Mrs. Cotoletta (Maria Venuti), a Nonno (Osvaldo Maione), and even an Anton (Steve Mouzakis). This is where the heart of Big Mamma\’s Boy lies. Its comedy comes from a sincere place and we are invited to laugh lovingly at hints of ourselves and all the other people we can recognise in these characters.
Big Mamma\’s Boy is certainly a bit slow to start and a little too long to end. I also won\’t say there is a lot of chemistry between the leads even though individually their performances are solid. But there were more then enough moments when the audience was roaring with laughter to balance this. The wonderful Di Gugliemo was an absolute scene stealer. She masterfully transforms a role that could easily have been melodramatic, and makes it a living, feeling extension of all the Italian mammas you know. Similarly Venuti is brilliant as the naive next door neighbour who is continuously accidentally seducing Rocco without even realising it. Pia Miller is delightful in her first film appearance as the other innocent rival for Katie’s affections.
Big Mamma\’s Boy is a well made Australian film. It\’s funny, it\’s endearing, and it\’s authentic. What more could you ask for? Besides a slice of Mamma\’s lasagne that is.
Category: Film & TV