American Cousins

The Sopranos do Glasgow

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When a deal goes bloodily (but not too bloodily) pear-shaped in Kiev, two American mafiosi, Settimo (Dan Hedaya) and mouthy young gun Gino (Danny Nucci), head for the UK. They plan to lay low in Glasgow in the ice-cream parlour-cum-fish and chip shop run by Roberto (Gerald Lepkowski), the hard-working, mild-mannered cousin they’ve never met. While the wiseguys behave in fish-out-of-water style, antagonism grows between Roberto and Gino over Alice (Shirley Henderson), the fish-fryer Roberto can’t admit he loves. But, when some Scousers hired by the Russian mob come to flush the visitors out, and loan sharks try to muscle in on Roberto’s business, the relatives unite. Director Don Coutts’ culture-clash comedy tries to find a middle ground between Local Hero and The Sopranos (Vincent “Big Pussy” Pastore has a small role), but ultimately it’s as damp as a Glasgow autumn. The saving grace is the chance to see the great Hedaya in something like a lead role for a change.


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