Fab Filippo (right) and the rest of the cast are terrific in the lightweight Resurrection Of Tony Gitone.
THE RESURRECTION OF TONY GITONE (Jerry Ciccoritti). See listings. Rating: NN
Toronto's Little Italy gets its own little movie. Unfortunately, this restaurant-set dramedy has little to chew on, and the presentation is sloppy.
A handful of Italian men get together to celebrate the return of Nino (Fab Filippo), a young actor struggling in Hollywood who's in town to shoot a movie. Over the course of the evening, every character airs his grievances: a financial rut, a cheating wife, an inability to let go of the past.
Some of these guys can be endearing, like the old movie director (Nick Mancuso) who still has one last passion project on his mind. But others are downright buffoonish, like the former mobster training to be a chef (Tony Nappo) who still may commit murder, depending on how dinner goes.
The cast is remarkable, but they can only do so much with writer/director Jerry Ciccoritti's script, which throws a whole lot of undercooked drama at the wall in the hope that some of it sticks.
What begins as a film about an older generation of Italians dealing with changes to their lives and neighbourhood over time falls apart into a cloying, shapeless mess.
The food does look great, though.
Opens Friday (March 29) at the Royal.