Uncle Nino (2003)
Critic Consensus: Critics say that despite a warm, well-meaning message about the importance of family ties, Uncle Nino is utterly corny and predictable.
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Critic Reviews for Uncle Nino
A third-rate Robin Williams movie that didn't even have the decency to hire Robin Williams.
Shallcross fails to infuse the proceedings with the wit or distinctiveness necessary to lift it above the crop of its so many similar-themed predecessors.
Both movies have familiar and even hokey aspects, but they're also sincere rather than cynical, and there's something affecting about the very similar messages they're peddling.
Aggressive heartwarmer, which turns out to be much more of a heartburner.
There's not a single surprise or moment of dramatic tension.
Audience Reviews for Uncle Nino
I think many families have that one member that, despite the fact that some of the members might not exactly get along, is beloved by everyone. No one can find a bad word to say about them. They're always there with sage advice, fix problems when you need them to and, overall, just do their best to help out. Note that I said many, not all, because there's are also many families that don't have that one member that's sort of a wise figure. My great-grandmother, at least before I was born, was that person in my family. I was close with her, but the family (which was fucking large) wasn't as close after I was born as opposed to when my mother and aunt where younger. Not to say that my great-grandmother was a saint, because she wasn't, but she was that figure. This film attempts to do some of that here, with the minor exception that they treat the titular Uncle Nino like a fucking saint. Granted, he has his dark past, which is only alluded to in one scene and never brought up again, he was arrested for doing something after falling in with the wrong crowd. If they said what he did, I honestly forgot. The point is that they acknowledge he's not a 'saint' in one scene and then they completely forget about it. Look, I'll be honest, this movie certainly means well. Its intentions are noble. I just found the way they went about telling their story to be completely counterproductive. Not to mention predictable as all fuck. It was predictable in 2003, when this was released (though it looks several years older than that due to its cinematography). So you can imagine how predictable and outdated it is FOURTEEN years after the fact. You've seen this movie before. An overworked and stressed husband, neglected wife, rebellious teen and young daughter all brought back together as a family by the grace, I'm going that far, of one special person who finds their way into their lives just at the moment they needed him most. Talk about saccharine, holy fuck. There's no actual, legitimate person like Uncle Nino in real life. I mean, there's certainly very nice people. People who try their damnedest to make a positive influence in the lives of their family and everyone they know. But the film makes Nino look like an adorable muppet. There's no depth to the character whatsoever. He's just there, like a fucking fairy godmother, fixing everyone's shit and bringing the family closer together. I'm not saying that the movie needed to be a realistic portrayal of an actual dysfunctional family, which this family is not, but I just wish the characters would have been a little more interesting than just the basic, one-dimensional characterization they're given for Nino to work his magic on. Robert and his son don't get along due to he hangs out with. Robert and his wife has problems due to Robert's dedication to his work. Robert ignores his daughter's plea for a dog. Robert hasn't talked to his sister in over a decade, or something like that. All of this is in place not because it actually tells an interesting story. It's there for Nino to fix with his old-world personality. Even with all of that, this movie could have, and really should have, been much worse than it was. The acting was perfectly solid. Joe Mantegna is a good actor and I do believe he deserves better than this, but he's just fine here. One thing though and, honestly, Mr. Mantegna feels completely out of place in this type of movie. I guess Armand Assante was busy or something. I don't know, they did need an Italian actor and Joe Mantegna is, reasonably, famous. He's no Pacino or anything, but he's a known actor. Still, his presence feels completely out of place here. Again, he's still fairly solid in his role, but I just don't picture him appearing in this type of sentimental family movie. But, he did appear in it and here we are. Everyone else is pretty good given the limitations of the characters. But the story really does drag everything down. It's just difficult to get into the characters when you've seen this type of story, done better, so many times. The comedy relies mostly on the culture clash Nino faces, having come all the way to America, from Italy, for the first time. This is a very sitcom-y or Hallmark Channel type movie. I don't think it's as bad as what you would see on Hallmark Channel, but you get what I mean. The acting may be solid, but the story is trite and predictable. Only watch this if you want a cheesy family the entire family can watch. They might not enjoy it, but it's nothing if not family-friendly.
Awe...what a nice, charming, cute, entertaining family movie! I really enjoyed the music at the end with Uncle Nino playing with the boys. Good job!
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