Two Family House Review
By Christopher Null
A sappy independent, Two Family House creates a romantic dramady out of the two unlikeliest characters -- a tubby married Italian guy who lives in Staten Island (Michael Rispoli) and a pregnant, Scottish import (Trainspotting's Kelly MacDonald) married to a bum.
Love at first sight? Not quite, but you can be sure writer/director Raymond De Felitta is going to get us there in short order.
Indeed, if you buy De Felitta's rosy outlook on life, all it takes is a pair of dreamers to make a love connection. Buddy (Rispoli) has failed at every entrepreneurial venture in his life; his latest scheme is to open a bar in the house he just bought while he and the wife (Katherine Narducci) live upstairs. He even plans to provide the entertainment via his celebrated crooning. Too bad the place upstairs is occupied by a drunk and his pregnant wife Mary (Macdonald) -- and we soon discover she's pregnant by yet another guy when a half-black, half-white baby pops out. In fact -- the whole film is narrated by the newborn, even while he's in the womb. (Er... okay.) Soon enough the bum is gone, Mary is evicted, and somehow she and Buddy are in love and having an affair. Not one of those dirty, adulterous affairs -- one of those nice, movie affairs.
All of this sounds sickly sweet to describe and it's even worse on screen, where you have to contend with non-stop, mind-numbing narration plus endless, syrupy mandolin music to remind us that Buddy is Italian. It all comes off like a bad episode of The King of Queens, just moved to a different borough.
Not that it isn't without its moments. Macdonald is cute (though unlikable) and the same goes for Rispoli, too. Nice house to visit -- but I wouldn't want to live there.
Two families, but nobody home.
Facts and Figures
In Theaters: Friday 9th August 2002
Distributed by: Lions Gate Releasing
Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Fresh: 30 Rotten: 4
Cast & Crew