By Joan Alperin Schwartz
Meet the Manzoni's. A family no different than your average family...Mother, Father, Two Kids, except...they are in the Witness Protection Program and they like to beat people up, or in the case of Daddy Manzoni, kill people...
Giovanni Manzoni (Robert DeNiro) 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 major mob boss that would like nothing more than to track Giovanni and his family down and kill them.
'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 it, is filled with silly over the top violence
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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