Review: ‘A Tale of Two Pizzas’

Romantic comedy about a homegrown Romeo and Juliet from warring pizza families, one specializing in crust and the other in sauce, "A Tale of Two Pizzas" barely stretches to 82 minutes. Vincent Sassone's freshman feature boasts a gossamer-thin premise, cutely animated caricatures, and the presence of de-criminalized "Sopranos" regulars Vincent Pastore and Frank Vincent as the dueling clans' imposing patresfamilias.

Romantic comedy about a homegrown Romeo and Juliet from warring pizza families, one specializing in crust and the other in sauce, “A Tale of Two Pizzas” barely stretches to 82 minutes. Vincent Sassone’s freshman feature boasts a gossamer-thin premise, some enjoyable neighborhood perfs, rather cramped “real” Yonkers locations, cutely animated caricatures, and the presence of de-criminalized “Sopranos” regulars Vincent Pastore and Frank Vincent as the dueling clans’ imposing patresfamilias. Skedded to open Oct. 7 at Gotham’s AMC Empire, pic’s modesty of intention matches its paucity of ingredients. In scope, depth, rhythm and gags, “Pizzas” seems best suited to the small screen.

Assured cast puts plot through its predictable twists with laudable aplomb. Though straying little from their familiar personae, Pastore and Vincent bring immediate conviction to the pie-mad patriarchs, while Angela Pietropinto and ever-quirky Patti D’Arbanville add spice. Even the central couple acquits itself with a minimum of self-conscious archness, the duo’s animated selves sometimes taking over in deft, inventive visual shorthand. Still, crust vs. sauce seems a pedestrian, sitcom-like hook to hang a theatrical feature on, and auds might do better having this one delivered.

A Tale of Two Pizzas

Production

A Cockeyed Caravan production. Produced by Patricia Zagarella, Van Papadopoulo. Executive producers, Frederic B. Vogel, Gary Kauffman, Mary Ellen Ashley, Randall Wreghitt, Marcia Roberts, James L. Simon. Directed, written by Vincent Sassone.

Crew

Camera (color, HD-to-35mm), Peter Nelson; editor, Robert Pennington; music, Peter Fish; animation, Jeff Drew. Reviewed on DVD, New York, Sept. 29, 2005. Running time: 82 MIN.

With

Vincent Pastore, Frank Vincent, Patti D'Arbanville, Louis Guss, Conor Dubin, Robin Paul, Angela Pietropinto.
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