Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Amexicano: If Only I Had Gone Out For Popcorn

Amexicano - Bruno, a lonely, unemployed Italian-American schlub from Queens played engagingly by Carmine Famiglietti, takes a construction job to stave off eviction. Step one is a street corner stop to hire a day laborer from a group of waiting Mexicans. After a false start with the aggressive and angry Diego (Manny Perez), Bruno finds the hard-working Ignacio (Raul Castillo). A sweet, deceptively simple buddy comedy ensues, as Bruno and Ignacio form a genuine friendship despite the language barrier and Bruno's cultural preconceptions. The plot thickens when Ignacio's attractive wife Gabriela (Jennifer Pena) applies some heat and then swirls in two new directions, each fundamentally consistent with the characters and story set in motion by screenwriter Famiglietti and Director Matthew Bonifacio - until the final moments of the picture. The ending clashed jarringly with my expectations and changed my view of the film radically. As an actor, Famiglietti shines in an odd couple comedy, as a writer he avoids stereotypes throughout the story but works too hard to do so in the ending, converting a film with a genuine feel into a somewhat awkward political statement. Despite this, the film is worth seeing - I cared enough so I was angry about the ending. Cast and crew were remarkably productive with a very limited budget and you will be seeing them again

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