Sunday, January 4, 2009

GAY MOVIE REVIEW: Mambo Italiano

This is one of those trashy fun little gay movies that I'm addicted to -- that I also randomly picked up out of Blockbuster 4/$20 bin. 

The thing about ethnic comedies is that they are really hard to do well. My Big Fat Greek Wedding did it really well, and, watching this one, you can draw a lot of comparisons between MBFGW and Mambo Italiano. The only difference is that, rather than the love interest being of a different ethnicity, the issue is a gay love story. Mambo Italiano doesn't do it well, at all. In fact, if you're looking for a sickly-sweet romantic comedy that will stick with you forever...

...this is not your movie.

But if you need something to turn on when it's 3a.m. and you're reconnecting with your movie collection and your brain is a little fried from studying a little too much, this is your movie. It's cute and sweet and kind of fun. And Peter Miller, who plays lead Angelo's male love looks good creeping into the bedroom late at night with just a pair of boxer briefs on. 

It's interesting in that it addresses the whole ethnicity-sexuality boundary, but not in any in-depth or particularly world altering manner. The whole "self-hating Italian" thing is amusing, though. 

The writing is bad, and the acting is so-so. In fact, even the way the storyline is told is not particularly that interesting. Starting off with a frame story is neither original nor compelling. All the typical themes of a cutesy, young, gay, coming out story are there. There's the family issue, there is the sister who is the only who knows, there's the macho-I'm-not-gay boyfriend (and the requisite open and understanding and wonderful man who he ends up with), etc. etc. etc. They do try, on occasion, to make it serious and meaningful. But it's rarely even laugh out loud funny. 

Overall, this adds nothing to the dialogue of gay cinema. 

But it's like Trick or Eating Out. Or, if you want, like any silly little high school drama like Can't Hardly Wait. It's just fun.

And I've watched it like 100 times. Totally worth it if you can get it for under $10 and find yourself and needing a silly movie to watch every now and again. 

It's not a bad easy date movie, either.

Oh, but the ending is a little long, also. 

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