Dom DeLuise ………. Dominick DiNapoli
Anne Bancroft ………. Antoinette
Ron Carey ………. Frankie
Candice Azzara ………. Lydia
It is estimated that over half of America today is overweight or obese. Experts say it will only get worse as time goes on. America loves food. That’s especially true if you are of Italian heritage. It’s a part of their history and something they can’t escape. So imagine trying to go on a diet if you are an Italian and you live in New York City, where there are food stands on every corner! Not easy at all.
This is the problem for Dominick DiNapoli. Dominick has always been a big kid who loved eating. It was his favorite thing. It was the ultimate comfort for him. But then his cousin, Sal, dies at the age of 39 from health complications due to a lack of exercise and improper diet. Antoinette, Dominick’s sister, makes him promise to see a diet doctor and lose some weight. This is very hard for Dominick, but he tries. He goes and sees the diet doctor and is given a list of things he can NOT eat. This includes apple pie, baked beans, bologna, bread, candy, cannelloni, cheesecake, chocolate, cupcakes, danishes, doughnuts, dumplings, eclairs, fettuccine, fondue, french fries, gingerbread, ice cream, lasagna, macaroni, marshmallows, muffins, noodles, oatmeal, olives, parfait, pizza, potatoes, pretzels, ravioli, ribs, salami, sauces, scraps, spaghetti, and sundaes among other foods. Dominick loves bread along with everything else, so this is bad..very bad. To help with his diet, he joins a support group for fat people called “The Chubby Checkers”.
None of this works that well, though. Why? Because Dominick loves food and his family is of no help to him and his diet. Dominick’s brother, Frankie, tries to help by locking up all the refrigerator and cabinets with all the food inside. However, Dominick goes crazy one day and Frankie calls Dominick’s support group. A few of the guys from “The Chubby Checkers” come over and they proceed to break the chains and go on a binge instead of helping Dominick. They eat everything in sight. This is one of the funniest scenes in the movie. The way they talk about food and the stuff they crave before they actually lose control and eat all the food is funny.
Dominick does stop eating for a little bit. How does he do this? Well..he meets a woman one day named Lydia, and he discovers a love that is more intense than his love of food. He gets up the nerve to ask her out one day and he soon realizes that he has more fun with her than eating. He spends all of his time kissing her and walking around with her that he actually begins to lose weight. He’s eating less, because he has less time to think about food. He loves Lydia so much that he buys her an engagement ring and is going to ask her to marry him one night. They are supposed to be going out for a big dinner, but when Dominick calls Lydia..she doesn’t answer. He doesn’t know where she is and that leads to another binge of eating that includes $47 worth of Chinese food that was supposed to be for his brother and sister and their friends. After Dominick does this, he is a broken man that is full of self-doubt. Will he ever be able to get his life back on track with less of the food that he loves?
The acting in this film is great. Dom DeLuise, Anne Bancroft, and Ron Carey shine in this movie. Anne is fantastic as Dominick’s sister. Dom is not that fat in the movie. He is just chubby, but he’s lovable. His love interest Lydia played by Candice Azzara is nothing to write home about, but she is not terrible or anything. She doesn’t bring down the movie with her acting.
This is described as a comedy, but it has more of a drama feel to it than a comedy. There are some funny lines in it and some funny scenes as I described above, but the movie is slow-paced. If you are Italian, maybe you will find it a little funnier since you may understand better what they are saying and stuff. However, at the heart of this film is a message. That message is love yourself not matter what you look like on the outside. If you can’t love yourself, then no one else can. And in the end, it’s what is inside of you that counts not what you look like on the outside.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: 5/10
TOTAL POINTS: 31/50
FINAL SCORE: 6.5
The video is given in 1.85:1 widescreen color, which is enhanced for 16X9 TVs. Transfer is decent with minimal distortion. No real problems here. But since I don’t have a widescreen TV, I don’t know how great the video looks. It looks fine to me, though.
The audio included is in English Dolby Digital Mono sound. No real problems here, but not the best quality out there either. Good enough, though, since the movie is over 25 years old.
Nothing here to look at except for the Original Theatrical Trailer, which is not really an extra in my book! So just be happy with the film, because that is all you get!