Despite good intentions, “Come Away With Me” is an uninspired attempt to capture the contempo Italian immigrant experience in upstate New York. After years in the industry, novice feature helmer Carlo Ventura took a project close to his heart, got the superb Mariangela Melato on board, then surrounded her with lightweights as stereotyped as the cliches he claims to be avoiding. Shot in English but mostly dubbed into Italian, low-budgeter won’t come away with any honors, although U.S. cast and Utica setting may spark marginal interest offshore.
Immigrant widow Maria (Melato) still talks with deceased hubby Franco (Enrico Lucci) about life and their three kids, especially Santino (Daniele Passaro), a petty criminal screw-up with a couple of loser friends who gets involved with crime kingpin Mr. Smiles (Michael Mandell). Do-gooder Maria has mostly put her Italian past behind her, but when family friend Giovanni (Dino Nole) pays a visit, the pull of the Old Country starts to be felt. Only lip readers will be able to tell when Maria is speaking English or Italian, thereby destroying the stated nuances Ventura tries to convey about straddling two cultures.