This review is part of a series based on the films of the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.
The country wasn't ready to say goodbye to Gord Downie. For 30 years he and his bandmates in The Tragically Hip have been soundtracking Canadian parties, BBQs, makeout sessions, and everything between. But when his cancer diagnosis was made public in early 2016, that's what Canada was forced to do. In a way it felt like the band's summer tour, their…
Mambo Italiano is essentially a bombastic sitcom, so I can see many viewers finding it more annoying than pleasant, but I'm charmed by it. It's a "gay" movie in the sense that its protagonist is gay, but the film seems more concerned with exploring life in an Italian family than life as a gay man. Do Italians find the broad stereotypes here offensive? I'm not sure, because I'm not Italian, but I don't feel like the film is contemptuous or mean-spirited about any of its characters. Mambo Italiano even has some surprises, and Sophie Lorain is a goddamn firecracker.