The huge success of the ethnic comedy "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" has no doubt paved the way for pictures like this. Based on Steve Galluccio's hit play, "Mambo Italiano" squeezes laughs out of the audience as if it was a sponge. The actors also mug endlessly for the camera. Worse, the gay subplot is so wholesome and virtuous, it wouldn't seem out of place in "The Sound of Music." You just can't fight this kind of movie because it has all the obvious ingredients for a hit. "Mambo Italiano" shamelessly caters to the lowest common denominator. Starring Luke Kirby, Peter Miller, Paul Sorvino, Ginette Reno, Claudia Ferri and Mary Walsh. Directed by Emile Gaudreault. Written by Emile Gaudreault and Steve Galluccio. Produced by Denise Robert and Daniel Louis. A Samuel Goldwyn release. Comedy. Rated R for language and sexual situations. Running time: 92 min
"Mambo Italiano" is the kind of loud and broadly played ethnic farce that delights a mass audience--the same way dinner theatre knocks out tourists. Set in Little Italy in Montreal, Gino Barberini (Paul Sorvino) and his wife Maria (Ginette Reno) are your traditional Italian family that bickers and complains, yet--deep down--we know they all love each other. Their son, Angelo (Luke Kirby), is an aspiring screenwriter who's also gay. When he and his best friend Nino (Peter Miller) become involved, it sends both their families into a state of total panic.