Saturday, 4 March 2017
Movie Review: Married To The Mob (1988)
In New Jersey, Angela (Michelle Pfeiffer) is getting tired of life as the wife of mob contract killer Frank "The Cucumber" de Marco (Alec Baldwin). She demands a divorce, but Frank laughs it off. Everything changes when mob boss Tony "The Tiger" Russo (Dean Stockwell) kills Frank because he dared to share the same mistress. Tony immediately turns his attention to seducing Angela, much to the disgust of Tony's wife Connie (Mercedes Ruehl).
FBI Agents Michael Downey (Matthew Modine) and Ed Benitez (Oliver Platt) are tailing Tony and spot an opportunity to get to him through Angela. She moves with her young son to a derelict New York City apartment to try and start a new life, but Angela can't shake off the attentions of Tony, the FBI, or a furious Connie.
Directed by Jonathan Demme, Married To The Mob hits the notes it aims for, but this is a film that goes for dissonance. Roughly equivalent to Gloria on dubious amounts of laughing gas, Married To The Mob tries to do too much, but also does enough to generate occasionally satisfying madcap energy.
Pfeiffer, Stockwell and Ruehl play it loud, which is the only way to compete with the sound of material splattering all over the screen. The big 1980s era hair gives the ladies licence to crash through all lines of subtlety. While Pfeiffer tries to maintain some level of serious drama, Ruehl just abandons all pretense and fully invests in wild antics and wide-eyed fury. Stockwell contributes the best moments as he fluctuates between oily mob boss and smarmy lecher pursuing the one woman who dares to resist him. Matthew Modine is just too blank to register, despite several disguises.
Married To The Mob reaches an appropriately wild and bloody climax in Miami, the vivid seaside colours adding a final flourish to the pop-off-the-screen intentions.
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