Rated: PG-13 Reviewed by: Frank Release date: December 16, 1992 Released by: Twentieth Century Fox
The Berman family of Queens is eccentric. When Jack, the father (Bob Dishy), dies in 1969 a stranger Joe Meledandri (Marcello Mastroianni), appears at the wake and invites the widow, Pearl (Shirley MacLaine), out for coffee.
Meledandri's attraction to Pearl is traced back to an incident in 1946 in which he persuaded Jack not to leave Pearl. From his one look at Pearl in 1946 he has been in love with her. His pursuit of Pearl sets in motion major changes in the lives of Pearl's family. Bibby (Kathy Bates) and Norma (Marcia Gray Harden) are the two daughters, Bibby is overweight, divorced and has little confidence. Norma has a son, Sweet Pea (Matthew Bronton) but cannot accept the loss of her other child. To compensate, she dresses and acts like various film stars she sees at the movies. The mix is both comical and heart warming, particularly when the Jewish up tight Bermans meet the Italian Meledandris.
MacLaine and Mastroianni are particularly effective and endearing as two elderly people falling in love. The twists and quirks of family members against the emerging romance provide a rich pleasant entertainment.