Flash Movie Review: The Family

I hope I never see a family member’s name in the news because of a crime they committed. There have been so many stories I have heard about other families’ problems that I have been grateful no one I know has made the news among my relatives. One of the craziest stories involved a member in one of my aerobic classes many years ago. This member with a quick wit always stood in the front row. With an excellent ear for rhythm he did every move perfectly. Since I always faced my classes it was easy for me to see how the female members were checking him out. Just before the holiday season he disappeared for a few weeks; members were coming up to me and asking if I knew what happened to him. All of us soon got our answer in the city’s newspapers: He was arrested and charged for the murder of his roommate. She was found stabbed in the trunk of her car that was left abandoned at the airport’s parking garage. Though this was a horrific story it reaffirmed my belief in never judging a book by its cover. This action comedy movie’s story was about Giovanni Manzoni, played by Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook, The Big Wedding) and his family who had to be sent into the witness protection program when he turned in evidence on his Mafia associates. Given the new identity of Fred Blake, Giovanni was sent with his wife Maggie and their two children Belle and Warren; played by Michelle Pfeiffer (Dark Shadows, Stardust), Dianna Agron (I Am Number Four, Glee-TV) and John D’Leo (The Wrestler, Wanderlust), to a small town in France. Under the watchful eye of special agent Robert Stansfield, played by Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln, Hope Springs); the family was instructed to blend in. However, it would not be an easy task for the Brooklyn mobster and his family to let go of their old habits. Sadly the witness protection program could not hide what was supposed to be the humorous elements I saw coming from a mile away. The acting from Robert and Michelle was not good; they simply reprised one of their old movie characters. Tommy Lee was underwhelming but it was due to the script; it was fractured into distinct segments that never came together to make a seamless story. This film tried to convince me it was an original crime caper comedy but I was not buying it. A couple of brief scenes had blood.


1 3/4 stars

About moviejoltz

From a long line of movie afficionados, one brother was the #1 renter of movies in the country with Blockbuster, I am following in the same traditions that came before me. To balance out the long hours seated in dark movie theaters, I also teach yoga and cycling. For the past 3 years, I have correctly picked the major Oscar winners... so join me as we explore the wonder of movies and search for that perfect 4 star movie.

Posted on September 17, 2013, in Comedy and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. that one actually played as possibly funny in the previews. Thanks for the warning.

    I will stick to zombie movies πŸ™‚

  2. WordsFallFromMyEyes

    You do aerobics!! Great stuff πŸ™‚

    Absolutely never judge a book by its cover. Absolutely. That must have been such a shock, to realise of that student. wow.

    • Yes I teach aerobics, cycling and yoga classes. I have to do something to make up for all the sitting I do at the movie theaters. lol Finding out about that student was a total shock to all of us. Thanks for your comments.

  3. I wish Hollywood would stop using Italians as stereotypes and start talking about the achievements they make in all walks of life. Chinese and Russian mafia have been on the rise for the last 30 years and they are far more rootless. Let’s talk about them.

  4. Contains spoilers! Thank you for this review! However, I had to see the movie, since so many of my favorite actors played and a good director filming it, but you are spot on, the balances were not there. It was hardly a comedy (all the intended to be comic situations were brief and I have seen them countless times in B-movies) and the mildly humourous ones were not enough, while the harsh humorless violent end-resolution (5 minutes before titles) confused me for its intentions as a comedy. The only semi-original (I have seen it before but can’t remember where) scene, was DeNiro watching DeNiro. Too bad, having so many great actors and an interesting script, yet managing to fail…

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