By Richard Winters
My Rating: 0 out of 10
4-Word Review: Father considers male sterilization.
Gino (Paul Sorvino) is a proud Italian man who has fathered eight children, but now his wife Anna (Cassandra Edwards) doesn’t want anymore kids and pressures him to get a vasectomy. Gino fears the procedure, but eventually agrees only to have an angry confrontation with the doctor (William Marshall), which sends him running away from the operating room. Anna insists that he still must go through with it, or he won’t be allowed back into bed with her until he does. Meanwhile Gino must also worry about his greedy relatives, who’ve concocted an elaborate plan to steal money from the bank he works at and put it out of business.
I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a movie quite this bad. It’s not so much for any technical miscues. No shaky camera, boom mikes getting into the screen, atrocious lighting, schlocky sets, or bad acting. In fact all of those things are okay. What really reeks is the bland script that is poorly paced and not funny. The film starts out really slow and never gains traction. For a comedy there needs to be a lively plot and quick edits, but this thing dies out before it even has a chance to get started. 18-minutes in and I was still waiting for the first laugh and became genuinely confused whether this was meant to be a comedy at all.
The main plotline is so weak that the inane crooked loan scheme is added jut to pad the runtime. The living situation of the family is rather unrealistic as well. Of course since it was the 80’s, the height of capitalism, the question of whether a family could actually afford 8 kids is never addressed, but most people, even those working at a bank, might find that situation financially challenging. The home looks too well maintained for having all those kids too who would most likely be running around and disorganizing everything. The mother is never shown having to deal with them either. In fact she comes-off as an affluent suburbanite who’s fully in-control of her life and able to out with her lady friends without the typical struggles of having to juggle her personal life with child rearing demands. All 8 kids end up being boys, but what are the odds of that? They’re also all around the same age like she popped them all out simultaneously and all of them get crammed into the same bedroom even though the house they resided in looked big enough that that shouldn’t have been necessary.
Paul Sorvino manages to be solid even though with his rotund belly he does look a bit pathetic during the scenes where he wears a baseball uniform. He does though sing the national anthem surprisingly well, apparently he sang opera to the crew between takes, and the segment where he goes in to the operation and babbles incessantly, is actually kind of amusing. I was not impressed though with Edwards as she looked too young to be his wife like she was still in her 20’s while he was already in his late 40’s.
While I’m not a violent person I would consider, if I ever met the director of this, Robert Burge, to punching him as I honestly felt like he maliciously stole 90-minutes of my life and I don’t understand what the purpose was for it. 33,000 scripts get submitted yearly, but only 1 percent of those ever gets sold or produced, so how the hell did this one sneak through? Even a crew member from the film stated in his IMDb review that he’d give this a negative rating if he could. Maybe the director was a guy that had enough funds he was able to produce it himself and therefore didn’t feel the need to answer to anybody. If that were the case then this would’ve been an instance where having never made a movie would be better than living with the embarrassment of your name being attached to this mess for all those unfortunate enough to see it.
My Rating: 0 out of 10
Released: September 26, 1986
Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
Director: Robert Burge
Studio: Vandom International Pictures
Available: VHS, DVD-R (dvdlady.com)