(director: Catherine Hardwicke; screenwriters: J. Michael Feldman/Debbie Jhoon/based on the story by Amanda Sters; cinematographer: Patrick Murguia; editor: Waldemar Centeno; music: Alex Hefes; cast: Toni Collette (Kristin), Monica Bellucci (Bianca), Sofia Nomvete (Jenny), Alessandro Cremono (Bruno), Alessandro Bressanello (Don Giuseppe Balbano), Tommy Rodgers (Domenick), Giulio Corso (Rudy ‘AKA’ Lorenzo),Eduardo Scarpetta (Fabrizio), Alfonso Perugini (Dante), Dora Romano (Aunt Esmeralda), Francesco Mastroianni (Aldo), Giuseppe Zeno (Carlo Romano), Mitch Salm (Wayne), Claire Palazzo (Tracy), Tom Daisch (Paul); Runtime: 101; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Amanda Sters/Christofer Simon/Toni Collette; Bleeker Street; 2023)

“In the running for one of the worst films of the year.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwart

Catherine Hardwicke (“Twilight”/”Thirteen”) is a talented director and Toni Collette is a fine actress, but this ultra-violent comical mafia flick that features their artistic talents is in the running for one of the worst films of the year. It’s based on the story by Amanda Sters and is written by Debbie Jhoon and J. Michael Feldman. Its attempt to mix comedy with brutality is brutal. Its failure is in its poor execution not in its absurd but cutesy premise.

The suburban dwelling American woman, Kristin (Toni Collette), upon the death of her mafia don grandfather (Alessandro Bressanello), in Italy, inherits his winery (the winery is part of his mafia organization). With her life in shambles, in a tizzy that her untrustworthy son (Tommy Rogers) is going away to an out of town college, that hubby Paul (Tom Daisch) is cheating on her and she’s in a state of disbelief. Nevertheless she travels to Rome, Italy for the funeral. At the funeral, there’s a bloody shootout between rivals.

The criminal organizations consigliere Bianca (Monica Bellucci) guides the American woman in how to properly conduct the criminal family business.

In Rome, Kristin falls for the hunky local pasta maker (Giulio Corso).

Collette’s performance is strained and overreaching, and the story travels poorly-unable to make up its mind whether it wants to be taken for a goofy comedy, a shallow romancer or the usual bloody mafia film. I took it for a stunted mafia B-film that desperately wanted to be relevant as a hipster crime film but had no edge or moxie to be anything more than a dispiriting vehicle for its star.