Married to the Mob (1988)

Genres - Comedy, Crime  |   Sub-Genres - Satire, Gangster Film  |   Release Date - Aug 19, 1988 (USA)  |   Run Time - 135 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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The tone of Jonathan Demme's gangster comedy Married to the Mob comes very close to being too over-the-top for its own good, but the superb cast pulls it off without a hitch. Michelle Pfeiffer, with a heavy New York Italian accent, and Matthew Modine, as the so square-he's-hip Fed trailing her, do a fine job of both being funny and portraying the tentative beginnings of a new romance. But it is Dean Stockwell as the mob boss and Mercedes Ruehl as his very suspicious wife who walk off with the film. An authentic Italian-American, Brian De Palma, could not achieve this same balance of wackiness in his mob comedy Wise Guys, showing how difficult it is to successfully get laughs out of such extreme characters in a setting as threatening as the mafia. The material in Married to the Mob is so exaggerated that Italian-Americans could have found it offensive (especially since Demme is not Italian), but his abiding love of his characters, even the crazy ones, stands out above everything else making this light comedy one of the most enjoyable, if least essential, films of Demme's fantastic career.