“Kiss Me, Guido”
“Kiss Me, Guido” is a cute little piece of fluff that reminds me of “The Little Engine that Could” but didn’t. It’s a light little comedy about mistaken identities, misunderstandings, and mismatched romantics. The movie is little more than a comic diversion and I doubt it was supposed to be more than that. The characters and the situations are stereotypical but the cast is energetic and seems to be having a good time.
The premise of the film is funny and fairly well done but it is a good movie that could have been so much better. As a low budget campy Italian/American comedy it is funny in its simplicity but there were ideas that could have been expanded and scenes that just fell flat.
Frankie (Nick Scotti) is a dumb Italian who movies in with Warren (Anthony Barrile), a gay guy. Frankie has no idea that Warren is gay—he thought GWM meant “guy with money”. When he finally realizes that Warren is gay, he stays his friend but wonders how his family will feel.
Some of the jokes are obvious and some are really bad and some of the stereotypes, while true in many cases, seem to be overly exaggerated. The movie is lightweight and does not offend which it surely could have done and what makes it watch able are the performances and the very smart dialog. What bothers me is that the film does not go out on a limb when it could have and because of that it almost becomes bland.
The movie hangs on the characterizations and the actors. Scott’s character, Frankie, comes across as too nice a guy and his performance is natural and strong. He is also a beautiful man which helps us to look at him.
Even as dumb as the movie is, it is still quite funny. It is not offensive and surely could have been. The movie has something for everyone. It has straights and gays and pizza and beer, hot Italian men and pretty girls, comedy and romance. In reality it is about people and differences, all wrapped up in a comedic setting. However, so many possibilities were left unexplored. The characters keep the viewer laughing and I believe the movie had no agenda other than to entertain. It is campy and monolithic at the same time and a very funny story of cultural differences.
We must remember that behind every stereotype there is some truth and the truth of the movie is left unsaid. What the movie does do is hold up a mirror to some of us who fit the stereotypes and we are made to laugh at ourselves. The confusion and the misunderstanding create a hilarious amount of laughter. There are cute moments that could have been cuter and the gay community is accurately presented. Still, I must say, that ten years ago we would not even have had this so it is safe to say we have come a long way. Just the idea of having a straight man share an apartment with a gay male is progress. For this, if nothing else, the movie is worthwhile seeing.