Two Family House

( 6 )

Overview

Raymond De Felitta directs this warm, colorful tale about a blue collar dreamer who gets more than he bargained for after buying a two-family house. Set during the 1950s in Staten Island, the film charts the financial failures of Buddy Michael Rispoli, a nice-guy entrepreneur who has perpetual bad luck. While he was in the army, he sang songs on stage to bolster troop morale. During one performance, he received a warm reception from none other than Arthur Godfrey, who invited him to audition when he got back to ...
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Overview

Raymond De Felitta directs this warm, colorful tale about a blue collar dreamer who gets more than he bargained for after buying a two-family house. Set during the 1950s in Staten Island, the film charts the financial failures of Buddy Michael Rispoli, a nice-guy entrepreneur who has perpetual bad luck. While he was in the army, he sang songs on stage to bolster troop morale. During one performance, he received a warm reception from none other than Arthur Godfrey, who invited him to audition when he got back to the U.S. After the war, Buddy's crushingly pragmatic wife Estelle Katherine Narducci, along with her very traditional parents, dissuade him from a life in showbiz. After a decade of living with Estelle's parents and failing repeatedly at one get-rich-quick scheme after another, Buddy buys a rundown house with the idea of refurbishing the second floor for living quarters and the first for a pizzeria where he can sing. Estelle grudgingly goes along with it, secretly hoping that this plan will fail so disastrously that he will stop dreaming and lead a "normal" life. Not until he finalizes the purchase does Buddy realize that the house has a pair of squatters: Jim Kevin Conway, a drunken Irish immigrant, and his much younger, very pregnant girlfriend Mary Kelly Macdonald. Buddy tries to evict the recalcitrant drunkard, but he refuses to leave. Just as matters are about to come to fisticuffs, Mary goes into labor. To the surprise of everyone, the child is of mixed raced -- the product of a brief tryst that Mary had with an African-American man a while back. Disgusted and disappointed, Jim shuffles off never to be seen. Buddy hasn't quite the heart to evict a young single mother, nor the strength to resist his wife's perpetual nagging, so he quietly pays for a room in a neighborhood boarding house. Though Mary is initially very mistrustful of Buddy's intentions, the two slowly realize that they are in fact soul mates. This film was highly praised at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
A movie of disarming sweetness, Raymond De Felitta's Two Family House is as accomplished as it is unassuming. A period piece set in 1950s Staten Island, the movie tells the story of Buddy (Michael Rispoli), a working-class family man whose kindness -- he secretly subsidizes an adulterous Irish woman (Kelly McDonald) who has just given birth to a dark-skinned baby -- leads to pariah status in his insular Italian-American neighborhood. Casually humanistic, the movie's depiction of an ethnic community has the warm finish of fondly remembered lore. For all its seemingly fuzzy nostalgia, Two Family House serves as a corrective to idealized representations of the 1950s as a simpler (and hence, better) time. Underlying the movie's action is the neighborhood's blithe racism, which when it erupts casually in everyday banter is genuinely jarring. Made with evident affection, Two Family House makes a couple of lapses into preciousness -- a sequence depicting the narrator's first memories as an infant comes to mind -- and sometimes verges on caricature. Considering the number of opportunities the story presents for such missteps, however, the movie is impressively free of bathos and cynicism. With its generosity and unforced moralizing, Two Family House seems oddly anachronistic: a modest, humane movie about nothing less than the values we choose to live by.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/22/2003
  • UPC: 031398836834
  • Original Release: 2000
  • Rating:

  • Source: Vidmark / Trimark
  • Presentation: Spanish / Dubbed
  • Language: EspaƱol
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Michael Rispoli Buddy Visalo
Kelly MacDonald Mary O'Neary
Kathrine Narducci Estelle Visalo
Kevin Conway Jim O'Neary
Matt Servitto Chipmunk
Louis Guss Donato
Rosemary de Angelis Marie
Victor Arnold Mr. Cicco
Richard B. Shull Mr. Brancaccio
Anthony Arkin Danny
Michele Santopietro Laura
Technical Credits
Raymond de Felitta Director, Screenwriter
Antonio Arroyo Sound/Sound Designer
Adam Brightman Executive Producer
Stephen Endelman Score Composer
Susan Jacobs Musical Direction/Supervision
Sheila Jaffe Casting
Julia Kim Casting
David Leonard Editor
Teresa Mastropiero Production Designer
Michael Mayers Cinematographer
Liz McGarrity Costumes/Costume Designer
Georgianne Walken Casting
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(5)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A Charming Tale

    I managed to run across this film on the Independent Film Channel one day. I simply fell in love with it.The characters and the story draw you in. Michael Rispoli could not have done a better job at playing a man who never gave up on his dreams despite the objection of family and friends. Kelly MacDonald is charming as the woman who convinces Michael to follow his dreams. The story is simple and the characters are well-rounded. It's the perfect movie to watch any time you feel like your dreams are too impossible to reach. And that love is possible for those who belive!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Pleasant Surprise

    Every now and then you decide to watch a movie that is unknown but engages you from the start. Two Family House is one of those movies. Terrific characters draw you into their stories and make you reminiss about "life." I simply loved this movie and highly recommend it to anyone looking for an uplifting and sweetly sentimental story!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    SENSITIVE, ROMANTIC

    This film for me reminds me that you should never lose sight of your dreams no matter how small and I enjoyed this film very much.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Excellent Character Studies

    Having grown up in an Italian neighborhood in Brooklyn, I feel I knew the characters...they are drawn so well. This is a wonderful piece, the acting is marvelous and I highly recommend it. Rispoli, MacDonald, Narducci and company...take a bow!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great Movie - Great Characters

    Although I missed about 5 minutes at the very beginning of this movie, it was a wonderful love story and character study. Made me wish there really was a ''Buddy's Place'' on Staten Island, where everyone is treated like somebody and no one is judged based on appearance. It was great to see 2 characters on the surface so very different, find love and understanding where they least expected it. Great Movie, even greater characters! Bravo!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Best movie of the year

    This movie was so heartwarming and lovely. It was so authentic to the period too. My parents loved it so much and identified with the Italian characters. A must see!

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews