Back in the 1990’s, Tommy Losurdo (Mike DiGiacinto) ruled the Jersey club scene. Nowadays, Tommy runs an Italian deli to support his family. With a receding hairline and a fading fashion, Tommy is forced back into the scene after finding out that his fiance’ Stefi (Afroditi Kontos) has had an affair.
Written and directed by Jersey City native Vito LaBruno, The Last American Guido is a “fish out of water” romantic comedy is an amusing film that, if I’m guessing correctly, will most appeal to those who “get” the film’s cultural references and genuine affection for its Jersey roots. LaBruno, a police officer who currently works for the U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force and once received an award for “Excellent Police Service” for his work during 9/11, has had a lifelong passion for film and was inspired after a conversation with actor Henry Winkler to study screenwriting NYU Professor Marilyn Horowitz. LaBruno followed this up with his first film, an award-winning short called Business is Dead. As if to say, “No, really. I’m serious about all of this,” LaBruno took out a second mortage on his home and put together the funding for this film which is currently available on Itunes.
LaBruno has assembled a stellar team including D.P. Ron Elliot, composer Stephen Cullo (Belly), editor David Leonard (Goodfellas), and music supervisor Dondi Bastone, who also worked on Paul Lazarus’s Slingshot documentary.
As a Hoosier, I will confess that for the longest time whenever I’d watch a Jersey-centered film I’d find myself wondering “Is that a caricature?”
Trust me, I’ve heard people say the same thing about Hoosiers.
However, once you’ve integrated yourself into the area just a little bit you learn that it’s not a caricature and, in fact, you learn to appreciate the many fine nuances that you’ll see present in LaBruno’s film. LaBruno has done a nice job of creating a central compelling character, a character brought nicely to life by DiGiacinto. The Last American Guido is filled with an abundance of genuine laughs, a surprising amount of heart and romance, interesting characters, and a story that keeps you involved from beginning to end.
If you’re ready to check out an up-and-coming indie filmmaker, visit the film’s website linked to in the credits or watch it for yourself on Itunes.
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