Everybody wants what they can?t have

By By John Fitzgerald, Red Pulse Contributor

By John Fitzgerald, Red Pulse Contributor

I want a romantic comedy that is both funny and romantic, while avoiding altogether the obligatory stereotypes, the clichés and the predictable plot lines which have been recycled and reshaped for too many years. That’s all I want. Can’t I have that?

Jason Todd Ipson’s film “Everybody Wants to Be Italian” makes a noteworthy attempt to give me what I know I can’t have, but ends up falling into the unavoidable trap of standard genre filmmaking. More so than wanting to be Italian, the movie is about the chase in a relationship or the concept of wanting that which is just beyond one’s reach. Maybe the director is illustrating what, subconsciously, both myself and the director already know: like a lover who can’t have his or her ex back, I can’t have a fresh approach to the romantic comedy or “buddy film” (which the director prefers to label his movie).

All that being said, the film adheres to the standard far-fetched procedure of making a movie that is both romantic and funny. For example, have you ever met or would you believe that a doctor of veterinary medicine would fall for a local fishmonger, or that stalking your ex-girlfriend daily for eight years wouldn’t cause you some harsh legal repercussions? But that’s not to say the film doesn’t also succeed on some other levels that are quite funny and mildly plausible.

The movie begins in March with the main character Jake Bianski, played by Jay Jablonski, making the sad attempt at winning back his ex-girlfriend. He does this by picking out a new ring, a new Italian suit and the perfect fresh-cut flowers from Teresa the Florist, (played by Penny Marshall), and goes to the house of his ex-girlfriend to propose every year on their anniversary.

The problem is that Jake has been doing this for nearly 10 years. The ex is now married and even has three children. In an attempt to end the suffering of both Jake and those around him, his coworkers (who help suspend disbelief and carry the movie quite well) decide to try and set him up with the gorgeous Marisa Costa, played by Cerina Vincent. Jake’s friend Steve Bottino, played by John Kapelos, bumps into her for the first time when Marisa just happens to be looking for her cat behind their fish market one night.

After a few awkward dates we get a case of “mistaken ethnicity” from both Jake and Marisa, who both purport to be Italian, which of course neither of them is. Jake and Marisa’s Italian friends, armed with every Italian stereotype possible, simultaneously confuse them as to why or why not they should date an Italian. Some of the best parts of the movie result from this confusion. Most importantly though, through some tight and well-directed but highly-unbelievable scenarios, we learn that it’s nice to have someone like us and that more often than not we want what we can’t have. Sometimes it’s hard to just move on.

The majority of the music for the film was written by Peter Breinholt. Breinholt, an alumnus of the U, is a popular musician in Utah as well as other surrounding states. His music seems to fit just fine in the movie, but I just couldn’t stop hearing old “Especially For Youth” tunes he did for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when I was a teen. In the audience I heard more than once, “Is that Peter Breinholt?”

At times the movie was extremely unbelievable and simultaneously predictable, but for some reason I occasionally found myself forgetting to review or critique the movie, and in so doing ended up enjoying some aspects of the film. Maybe I’m a sucker for psychoanalytic fairy tale love stories, or maybe the cuts from scene to scene were actually done well, and just maybe the screenplay was really quite funny8212;especially the parts written for Jake’s three fellow fishmongers8212;they definitely carried the movie. In a tricky way the movie is quite good, but the genre it’s in is not.

The film is what it is. Make no mistake: if a romantic comedy is what you want, then a romantic comedy is what you’ll get8212;albeit with a minor twist. In the end the film delivers what it promises and then some8212;it just didn’t promise much to me.

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