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Review: 'The Family' Not One You'd Like To Have Over For Dinner

Two Jews On Film Two Jews On Film
September 13th, 2013 3:19pm EDT


The Family

Meet the Manzoni's. A family no different than your average family - mother, father, two children – except this family is in the United States Federal Witness Protection Program and they like to beat people up, or in the case of Daddy Manzoni, kill people.

Giovanni Manzoni (Robert De Niro) was a big time mob boss, who like many big time mob bosses, wound up snitching on his former cohorts. Not a good thing at all.

When we first meet Giovanni and his family his wife Maggie (Michelle Pfeiffer), daughter Belle (Dianna Agron) and son, Warren (John D'Leo) they have just been relocated to a small town in Normandy France.

Apparently the Manzoni's have tempers, causing them to be moved from one town to another, causing havoc wherever they go.

Everyone except Papa Manzoni has had enough.  They want their life back.

Maggie takes out her frustration by burning down a local supermarket. Belle uses a baseball bat on a fellow student and Warren has become the school hustler.

Giovanni, however, spends his time writing his biography, much to the dismay of his handler - F.B.I. agent Stansfield (Tommy Lee Jones).

There's also a big time mob boss that would like nothing more than to track Giovanni and his family down and kill them all.

'The Family' directed by Luc Besson and written by Michael Caleo ('Sopranos) - based on a novel by Tonino Benacquista (entitled 'Malavita') - is in my opinion a 'farce' that sometimes works but most of the time doesn't.

There are funny moments, especially when Giovanni is invited to speak in front of the French Cinema Society, after a showing of 'Good Fellas. But most of the time, we get silly over the top violence and lots of bad behavior.

I gave 'The Family' which opens in theatres Friday, September 13, just 2 1/2 bagels out of 5 - definitely a rental.

Check out our video to see John's bagel rating and an appearance by our special guest star, Mango-the Pek.

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Photo Credits: Relativity


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