Two Family House (2000) - Rotten Tomatoes

Two Family House (2000)

Two Family House (2000)

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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

In 1956, factory worker and frustrated singer Buddy Visalo, who realizes his dream to buy a two family house in Staten Island for himself and his wife Estelle and convert the ground floor into a neighborhood bar where he can perform, encounters unexpected problems and romantic complications when attempting to evict tenants.

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Cast

Michael Rispoli
as Buddy Visalo
Kelly Macdonald
as Mary O'Neary
Kathrine Narducci
as Estelle Visalo
Kevin Conway
as Jim O'Neary
Matt Servitto
as Chipmunk
Louis Guss
as Donato
Saul Stein
as Anthony
Victor Arnold
as Mr. Cicco
Richard B. Shull
as Mr. Brancaccio
Nick Tosches
as Hotel Clerk
Jack A. O'Connell
as Mr. Mahoney
Gerry Bamman
as Mr. Pine
Barbara Haas
as Mrs. Genova
Robert Fitch
as Drunken Guy
Peggy Gormley
as Miss Dimunjik
Richard Licata
as Mr. Asippi
John C. McLaughlin
as Arthur Godfrey
John Pizzarelli
as Julius LaRosa
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Critic Reviews for Two Family House

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (11)

Unfortunately, the look, pace, and structure of the film stop feeling elegantly restrained and pass into something like boilerplate mediocrity.

July 22, 2009 | Rating: C | Full Review…

Low key yet utterly charming...

November 22, 2006 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

It all comes off like a bad episode of The King of Queens, just moved to a different borough.

April 1, 2001 | Rating: 2.5/5

Michael Rispoli is so perfect in each and every scene that you can't even imagine him playing any other parts, much less somebody else playing his.

March 19, 2001 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

Full of honest moments, even if always told with a comedic flair, the film feels like a blend of a true story and a fairy tale.

January 30, 2001 | Rating: 8/10 | Full Review…

A world-class winner [about] a perpetual dreamer stepping up to the plate in a poignant grand slam story of ambitions lost & gained among ethnic outcasts of 1956 Staten Island

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Two Family House

A Staten Island tough buys a house that he wants to turn into a bar, but first he must contend with the Irish immigrant residents. This film begins slowly. For at least the first act and a good portion of the second act, Buddy is a cliche; he's a New Yorker with an assortment of meathead friends and a vocabulary that doesn't extend beyond what one might hear during fifth grade recess. He has the usual catalog of get-rich-quick schemes, and if you've seen Matt Dillon's character in Mr. Wonderful, you've heard all this before. But midway through the second act, it becomes clear that writer/director Raymond DeFelitta means to have Buddy stand in for the American Dream. The film's metaphors become clear: the racism against the Irish immigrant family, the racism against Mary's half-black child, the enormous financial hardship with which the families must contend are all facets of American history and the struggle of everyday American families. And by the end, the good people maintain peace and form a connection. It's sweet and maybe a little maudlin, but I think it works. The performance by Michael Rispoli snuck up on me, just as the complexities of Buddy's character; I thought he was fair, but he mined Buddy for depth by the end of the film. The same goes for Kelly McDonald. Overall, there is a lot to like about this film if you don't give up on it.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

[font=Century Gothic]In "Two Family House," Buddy Visalo(Michael Rispoli, who is excellent) has a chance to audition for Arthur Godfrey but is dissuaded because of his impending marriage to Estelle(Kathrine Narducci). In the following eleven years, they live with her parents in Staten Island where he toils in a factory while none of his business ideas including limo driver, house painter and pizza delivery amount to much. In the spring of 1956, he decides to buy a fixer upper and live on the second floor, turning the first into a tavern. But there is a drunken reprobate and freeloader, Jim O'Neary(Kevin Conway), and his pregnant wife, Mary(Kelly Macdonald), living on the second floor and the law is on their side. But when Buddy and his friends try to forcibly evict the couple, Mary goes into labor. And boy is everybody surprised at the brown hue of the baby...[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]Mildly predictable, "Two Family House" is a movie about the American dream that is equal parts funny and touching. Buddy's dream is not so much to be successful but to work at something that is his very own. In other ways, the American dream should be about a country without bigotry which it was not in the 1950's, even in the North, which are portrayed here as an era of stifling conformity where there is little[/font] [font=Century Gothic]interaction outside of one's social circle. But there is a glimmer of hope that the era of sitting in judgment will be coming to an end.[/font]

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Kelly MacDonald and Michael Rispoli are wonderful together in this. I'm not big on adultery, but this is a unique love story that I enjoy every time I see it. The soundtrack is great, too. The fact that it's a true story underscores the bitterseet quality of the film. This is a must-see for any MacDonald fan like me : )

Lanning : )
Lanning : )

Super Reviewer

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