Friends and Family (2001) - Synopsis

Stephen and Danny are a gay male couple who are enforcers for a New York Mafia family. Stephen's parents, who know that their son is gay but not that he works for the Mafia, decide to pay a surprise visit, sending Stephen and Danny into a panic. Hilarious complications ensue, as an ever expanding crazy-quilt of characters adds to the fun.

"Friends and Family" is a seamless and exuberant blend of the witty screwball comedies of the 1930s with the riotous unpredictability of French farce. Gorgeously shot in lavish urban settings, "Friends and Family" is the independent film that doesn't look like an independent film. Blessed with an expert cast including both seasoned veterans and exciting newcomers, "Friends and Family" revives a bygone tone of elegance and urbanity and weds it to an up-to-the-minute sensibility that is very much of today.

Presiding over the mayhem are Tony Lo Bianco as mob boss Victor Patrizzi, Greg Lauren and Christopher Gartin as Stephen and Danny, Beth Fowler ("Sister Act") as the force of nature otherwise known as Stephen's mother, Tovah Feldshuh ("A Walk on the Moon") as a midwestern housewife to whom there is more than meets the eye, familiar comic actors Edward Hibbert, Meshach Taylor and Louis Zorich and, in her first screen role in forty years, Anna Maria Alberghetti as Stella Patrizzi.

By John Beal