The Whole Shebang
It’s sad when a small movie that looks like a labor of love, with a nice cast (Stanley Tucci, Bridget Fonda, Anna Maria Alberghetti), and sets out to be a charming little quirky romantic comedy … lays an egg. But this one does. The scenes go on way too long, there is a lot of overacting, and the story is clichéd and badly told. What is really too bad is that it’s the only film I can think of about fireworks, a subject I love, and it could have been a great film. It is based on the Grucci family, which has been making pyrotechnics for 155 years. The only interesting parts are when they are actually showing the manufacture and launching of the big shells, and if they’d shown more maybe the film could have come alive, sort of like a cooking film with explosives. But they get most of it wrong. The Gruccis didn’t survive that long by smoking near the fireworks sheds, and neither would anyone else.