The Family. The movie and the straw that broke my Italian back.


So. I haven’t blogged for a while. Ya know, it happens….and when I say “it”…I mean LIFE. Comes at ya quick and unfortunately sometimes I don’t have enough time in the day to get down and blog. Getting ready to welcome a new human into the world and into my family has been time-consuming. That, on top of some work mayhem, has made it difficult. BUT…with all that said here we are. And we are here because something got my juices flowing so I carved out some time to make this happen.

We went and saw THE FAMILY the other night out in Westfield NJ. This was said event…the one that got my juices flowing. Let me first say…the movie was pretty freaking awesome. Bobby D was Bobby D. Meaning he. was. AWESOME. And while it made me feel way old to see Michelle Phiefer looking so, well…OLD. She was awesome too. Throw in that girl from Glee and Tommy Lee Jones and you’ve got yourself a fantastic cast that executes on a witty script.

The story of a constantly displaced family in witness protection delivered some serious laughs. The comedy was steady throughout as was the theme and story of “The Family”. The family was tight…they loved each other. They had to. Always being moved around and living in foreign lands they didn’t have much else to lean on other than their family unit and they seemed to always make the best of what some may have considered a shitty situation. The brother-sister duo attacked a new school with a strategic and calculated approach that quickly led to them achieving serious status and protection from the typical crap that can sometimes make life in high-school, and certainly any new school, so difficult. That was fun to watch. The little bro orchestrated the take down of some bullies and the sister showed the entire school how to treat a lady and how to NOT steal her pink pencil-case. All thru the immediate and potentially alarming drama they had a positive and can-do/”no one can touch us” attitude. Solidarity as a family unit was beautiful to watch between bro and sis and that clearly stemmed from Mom (Catwoman/Michelle Phiefer) and Dad (Bobby D) who were as close as close can get…you could tell there was nothing they wouldn’t do for each other.

Normally I would go a little more in-depth on a movie review BUT I don’t want to ruin your potential viewing experience by saying too much about the plot line and/or spill the beans about the ending. BUT here’s the thing…this ISN’T a movie review blog posting. Surprised? This post is something more, something different. This is about the juices I spoke of before and how they are flowing because – while the movie was a good one…it pissed me off.

Let me explain…

While enjoying the movie I couldn’t help but think about how absolutely sick and tired I am of the movies and TV shows that come out depicting all Italians as prosciutto loving, pasta eating, bad suit wearing, big sun glasses having, bad-tempered, non-intellectual, mobbed up, sub-humans!

Wow, that felt good. But, I mean…right?!

Every single movie, including “THE FAMILY, with an Italian “Family” is so filled with stereotypes it’s disturbing. The fat guys with bad accents, chomping on meats and cheeses, muttering “MADON! FUGETTABOUTIT!” were everywhere in The Family. Frankly and unfortunately it’s just become the norm for any newer programming including Italians to show my people like that…it’s sad and I am over it.

I say all that with a clear understanding and opinion that the classic movies are un-touchable. Godfather can do no wrong…Goodfellas is a gem…The Sopranos was the best…Casino is wonderful…you get it, the list can go on. But all these movies/shows are 10+ years old and were tremendously more relevant to the times it was set in than any new movie that comes out nowadays. Unless I missed it…The Family was set in modern-day. I feel like modern-day mobsters and the mafia have all but disappeared and if (not that I know of any…) they still exist they are way less out in the open, operating quietly with subtle movements as organized crime is a big no-no. With that depletion of mafia dudes…shouldn’t the insane stereotypes in Hollywood also trend downwards? Well I’m not seeing it, capeesh?!

Now, like with most stereotypes…the ones in the movie(s) are generally true. Come to a family gathering of mine and you can bet your ass you’ll see some cured meats and soft cheeses on the table along with dark red wines and all the carbs you can eat. Do some of us have on gold chains with crosses on them? Sure. That doesn’t mean we’re sitting around running numbers, breaking legs, racketeering, extorting and/or laundering money. It just means we like to eat and drink and some of us enjoy gold chains. For a long time I never noticed it – but when you say “I’m 100% Italian” – people judge you due to what they see in the movies and assume you are mobbed up and/or have a Uncle/Cousin/Nephew in the joint. Could I have your legs broken? Sure…but not because I’m Italian…because you are an idiot. Just like any other ethnic background could. So stop thinking weird things about me – you jabroni!

I’d like to end this long, admittedly crazy, rant with a plea. A plea to Hollywood.

HOLLYWOOD – I like mob movies. I’d never ask you to stop production of mob movies. But can we keep it modern-day appropriate and, please, have some Italian characters be something other than a mobster from Brooklyn? You do know we are capable of other things right? Doctors, Lawyers, digital media executives! Let’s show the world, together, Italians can make a positive contribution to society, OK? Please comply…otherwise my Uncle Vito is going to come to your house with a baseball bat. I mean it. Thank you! Signed, Chris Signore



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