A version of this review appeared in The Age, July 28, 2011.
This would be a routine comedy if the Australian film industry produced comedies on a routine basis. As things stand, it's an very minor oddity, well below the level of the average equivalent production from Bollywood or Hong Kong.
Stand-up comic Frank Lolito – also the film's co-writer – plays Rocco, a real estate agent in his thirties still living with his widowed Mamma (Carmelina Di Guglielmo), who does his laundry, cooks his meals, and dreams of the day when he'll marry a nice Italian girl like herself. But Rocco has his heart set on his Anglo co-worker Katie (Holly Valance), who's won over by his slick charm but put off by his immaturity. Will he crawl out from under his mother's apron in time to find true love?
It's an obvious premise developed with minimal flair (and evidently limited resources: every time the camera moves you can feel the strain on the budget). Lolito and director Franco di Chiera are unwilling to portray Mamma as an overbearing monster, but nor do they fill out her character enough to convince us that Rocco is faced with a genuine dilemma.
Shot in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, the film has little sense of place or atmosphere. The flat digital cinematography doesn't help; neither does Ash Gibson Greig's overly busy score. Lolito mugs dismally throughout, while Valance brings a game-for-anything warmth to what remains a thankless role; token appearances by familiar faces like Costas Kilias and George Kapinaris only reinforce the impression that this brand of “wog” humour has well and truly passed its use-by date.