MAMBO ITALIANO (2003) CANADA

Cinema Queer by Marcelino Rosas

The son of Italian immigrants in Canada struggles to find the best way to reveal to his parents that he’s gay.

Why do I like it? Why do I recommend it?

This was a fun, silly, and enjoyable watch. The story was entertaining and it had a good number of very funny lines. But even with the humor, the family dynamics and interactions felt very real and relatable.
That said, I will admit elements of this movie haven’t aged well, such that in an age of justice warriors, some might find parts of the dialogue unacceptably offensive today. In its defense, when this film came out, we weren’t as sensitive or as attuned to how hurtful and destructive some language could be — a few examples in the film would be the use of words like fag or retarded. Consider yourself forewarned 🙂.

Last thing I want to say about this movie, I won’t spoil it, but I was a little saddened with one of the main characters. The pressure from society and family to conform and please others can be difficult to resist, even when doing so doesn’t honor our own truth. Sadly it’s a path some still take.

Great performances by Luke Kirby( The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Astronaut’s wives club), Peter Miller(District 31), Claudia Ferri(The Killing). The actors who played the parents were amazing too.

Available to stream: Amazon Prime,Tubi, Vudu, Apple TV.

Marcelino Rosas
Marcelino Rosas

Marcelino “Marc” Rosas is a novelist, essayist and film reviewer whose writing centers on the intersection of Queer and Latinx identity. Raised in Los Angeles as the eldest son in a Mexican-American family with traditional views of masculinity, his debut novel Afuera (Out) and its follow-up Fuerte (Strong) are celebrated for their passionate and candid portrayal of the challenges confronting a young man coming of age in a machismo-dominated culture as he explores and finally fully embraces his identity as a gay Latino man. A one-time fashion and figure model himself, Marc has always had a strong appreciation for the arts, in particular film. Thus his passion for sharing hidden gems of queer cinema via his film reviews with his ever-growing audience. When not at his writing desk working on his next book, Marc spends his time in the gym or traveling with the love of his life Pieter, his husband of many years.

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