Toni Collette delivers a convincing performance in the eccentric comedy “Mafia Mamma,” which follows a mobster’s mother adjusting to an empty nest.


Even with Toni Collette’s immense talent, this cheesy crime comedy falls flat. It’s like a silly version of a mobster story, with an American woman trying to rediscover herself and find love in a lavish European tourist destination. Maybe it could be called “Mafia Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again.” The director, Catherine Hardwicke, adapted the story from French writer and filmmaker Amanda Sthers, who also wrote the lackluster film “Madame” that Collette couldn’t save.

Kristin, a woman whose son recently left for college, is dissatisfied with her job in public relations for a pharmaceutical company. To make matters worse, her husband is revealed to be unfaithful. However, she receives news of her grandfather’s passing and inheritance of his winery business in Italy. Seeking a change of pace, she travels to Italy and meets a charming pasta-maker named Lorenzo. But her excitement is short-lived when she discovers that her grandfather’s estate is actually a cover for a criminal organization.

Collette has a talent for humor that is consistently appreciated and she effectively promotes this film with the expertise of a seasoned professional. The concept of the movie is pleasant enough for a lighthearted comedy. However, Collette’s performance is overshadowed by Monica Bellucci’s lethargic and uninvolved portrayal of her late grandfather’s enigmatic private secretary, who appears to be the true mastermind. In each scene, Bellucci seems preoccupied with her own thoughts, causing the audience to lose interest.


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