Amid loads and loads of family lies and deceit, the most truthful line spoken in this film is "My family is crazy." That's definitely an understatement by I would be lying if I didn't notice some awkward parallels between my family and the fictional one in this film. That familiarity is what constantly struck my funny bone and made me realize that if I were to call the Parlazzi family crazy, I would also have to admit my own family was pretty damn looney themselves. It's a charm within this film that constantly acted as the thread holding everything together - all the craziness, that is.
"Inheritance, Italian Style" sets up a massive family gathering using the excuse of dividing the furniture and belongings among the family members. I want to keep this review as spoiler-free as possible but let me just write that the property itself was out of the question as an inheritance. The reason why gets addressed later in the film - along with a plot addition late in the game. Written and directed by Doug Bremner, the film only used an "inheritance" as a springboard to get to the real meat of the film. The true centerpiece is the family itself - and the relationships of the immediate family and all the in-laws. I'll be honest. At first, I was pretty "blah" on the film. It didn't really speak to me and felt a little "off" somehow. However, at some point within the second act, I had become interested, and by the time a particular painting had gone missing, I was fully invested. "Inheritance, Italian Style" is the very definition of a movie that grows on you, so for anyone on the fence about watching this indie gem, let me say this - give the film a chance. Bremner's movie was well worth waiting through the slow start. One hundred percent.
Cards on the table? This is definitely a micro-budget film. As a viewer, you have to know what you're getting into. Sometimes some of the acting may feel a little awkward, you may see the occasional strange transition or edit, and for a chunk of the film, the audio won't be the same as in a hundred million dollar production. In the case of this film, all the above applies ... but ... there are also some really excellent scenes. Some moments in this film that feel like everything is perfect. The setting, pacing, and even the acting all hit the mark excellently. Granted, for many of these scenes, you have to wait a bit, but in the meantime? There is the comedy. Yes, reader, this film has loads of funny moments. As I wrote above, a lot of the time, the humor works because of the familiarity - but no matter the reason, "Inheritance, Italian Style" has plenty of HaHa moments. My biggest pet peeve about the film? The background scoring. Literally, about ninety-six percent of this film has music playing in the background - complete overkill. In my humble opinion, background music is supposed to complement a movie - not be ever-present.
Look. I'm not suggesting this is a perfect movie, but I have no problem telling anyone reading this review that "Inheritance, Italian Style" is a damn good one. Bremner's film eventually hits its stride, and frankly? It was delightful. I can easily write that if the first act of the film had been as good as the later parts, my rating would have been a little higher. Bottom line? Give this flick a chance, and you'll be glad you did. I know I certainly was. Three stars and thumbs up.