Arriving in Gated Community USA from his native Italy with motivations unknown, Nino (Pierrino Mascarino) unsuspectingly walks into that hilarious “I Learned it from Watching You” PSA from the ‘80s. The man’s estranged nephew Robert (Joe Mantegna) is so busy with work he’s begun to ignore his wife Marie (a lovely Anne Archer) and expect the worst out of his children, denying his daughter Gina (Gina Mantegna) a dog and his son Bobby (Trevor Morgan) a place to rehearse his music. Enter the fiddle-playing Nino, who befriends the youngins when he says mowing the lawn “sucks” (five bucks he’ll be playing in Bobby’s band by film’s end!), gives Gina a dog without asking permission (ten bucks says Robert is going to blow his gasket!), and shows everyone how to make pizza. Nino comes to America boasting an unnatural obsession with Abraham Lincoln. Why? Ostensibly because the 16th president freed the slaves and Nino is here to save White America from itself. It’s actually rather amusing how glibly the film assumes its audience will buy into the condescending notion that whites are all inhospitable bastards, a condition easily remedied with a little gardening and homemade Italian wine. Though convinced it’s helping people to rediscover their roots, the film—however sincere it may be at encouraging family togetherness—succeeds only in planting corn.
- Lange Film Releasing
- 104 min
- Bob Shallcross
- Bob Shallcross
- Joe Mantegna, Anne Archer, Trevor Morgan, Gina Mantegna, Pierrino Mascarino, Duke Doyle, Daniel Adebayo, Michael Stahl, Shane Williams
- Slant is reaching more readers than ever before, but advertising revenue across the Internet is falling fast, hitting independently owned and operated publications like ours the hardest. We’ve watched many of our fellow media sites fall by the way side in recent years, but we’re determined to stick around.
We’ve never asked our readers for financial support before, and we’re committed to keeping our content free and accessible—meaning no paywalls or subscription fees. If you like what we do, however, please consider becoming a Slant patron.
You can also make a one-time donation via PayPal: