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American Cousins (15)



Review by: Graeme Kay | Rating: Two

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Trailer.

SLIGHT but nonetheless enjoyable crime caper about two New York Mafiosa hiding out in Scotland.

Gino (Danny Nucci) and Settimo (Dan Hedaya) are two American hoods on the run from Ukranian gangsters, from whom they have stolen a mysterious but priceless commodity.

Having nowhere else to turn, Gino and Settimo head for Glasgow, where they intend to lie low with their law abiding cousin Roberto (Gerald Lepkowski), and his grandfather Nonno (Russell Hunter).

Initially Roberto, who has his own problems - in the shape of a Glasgow heavy who wants to takeover Roberto's eaterie - is welcoming towards his relatives, but when Gino starts making passionate advances towards the love - only she doesn't know it - of Roberto's life, Alice (Shirley Henderson), his hospitality begins to cool.

So is this the end for Roberto's love and business lives?

Despite the unashamed use of several clichés - the Mafia guys may be brutal, but they're men of honour, every other person in Glasgow is a murderous thug - this story manages to capture the viewer's attention and sympathy, thanks largely to the unfussy plot, the witty script and the warmth of the leading characters: Lepkowski and Henderson are particularly likeable as the star-crossed lovers, as too are Nucci and Hedaya as the Mafia-men, who despite their heavy-manners, are not nearly as ruthless or frightening as the two Liverpudlian scallies who have been hired to track them down.

If you liked Bill Forsyth's early works, Local Hero and Gregory's Girl, you will like this.

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