Inheritance Italian Style
Cast: Zoe Myers, Maggie Gwin, Ismail Ibn Conner
Critics Rating: 2 stars out of 5
Director: Doug Bremner
Duration: 1 hour, 36 minutes
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Family
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Five sisters return to their home in Sicily to divide their inheritance. But this reunion quickly turns into an epic mess.
It’s a perfect plot to infuse some comedy into a family drama and writer, director and producer Doug Bremner sets up a battery of characters to do just that. But the end result isn’t as great as expected. When three of the five sisters – Natascia (Caroline Granger), (Zoe Myers) Seconda, and Fulvia Parlazzi (Maggie Henry) return to their family villa in Italy with their own families, they have much more than reunion on their mind.
Each of them is looking at the family inheritance as an answer to their problems. Duplecia (Concetta DeLuco), the youngest of them all, who stayed back, now wants an accounting of the family property while Tristana, the daughter, who never left home, is too depressed to care. This situation calls for a division of the family’s precious antiques, paintings and furniture. All hell breaks lose when all of them converge upon their old parents who have their own set of issues. There are twists, turns and revelations that ensue, as the family goes on bickering about the material things. There is some fun to be had in this totally messed-up situation of people and their problems.
But is it enough? Not at all. The pace of Bremner’s screenplay is long and laborious. The performances range from loud and over-the-top to fabricated and none of it makes us take any of the characters seriously. The jokes and punches, which should have been the essence of this situational comedy do not land. Another problem is its slow pace due to which the short runtime feels longer.
Although, the writer tries to include different problems for each of the characters, the net result still comes off as repetitive. Among all the actors, Dawn Campion stands out as the endearing family matriarch Mallatta Parlazzi, who holds her dysfunctional family together against all odds and even manages to bring a smile on our faces.
Overall, ‘Inheritance Italian Style’ is a harmless family drama that tries hard to be funny. It’s an honest attempt to tackle myriad family issues like sibling rivalry, infidelity and insecurities within relationships, but by the time it’s done, it just feels like a long drag.