Fatso Film Details
Overview: An overweight bachelor is fat, 40 and fed up–to the gills–but when his obese cousin Sal dies at 39, he must finally come to terms with his own weight problem.
Tagline: Starving for a great movie?
Review: Occasionally, the Fox Movie Channel (FMC) airs a letterboxed version of the 1980 comedy FATSO, Anne Bancroft’s only big-screen foray into writing and directing. Having grown up watching the films of leads Bancroft, Dom DeLuise, and Ron Carey, I can hardly believe they’re no longer with us. Heck, I still remember the movie poster from FATSO’s original theatrical release: a mournful DeLuise standing against a long list of foods under the bold heading “Do Not Eat.” DeLuise stars as Dominick DiNapoli, an overweight 40-year-old bachelor living in New York City’s Little Italy. His happy life revolves around his family: sister Antoinette (Bancroft) and her husband and kids; “baby” brother Junior (Ron Carey, best known and loved in our household from his roles in HIGH ANXIETY and JOHNNY DANGEROUSLY); countless cousins — and food, glorious food! Having been doted on and well-meaningly overfed by his worried mom (tragically, her two previous baby boys died in infancy), Dom’s life has always revolved around eating, drinking, and being merry, usually with his big-hearted and just plain big cousin Sal. When Sal dies of an obesity-related heart attack, however, Antoinette and Junior frantically beseech Dom to tackle his own weight problem before he follows in Sal’s footsteps to the graveyard. Dom’s misadventures on the road to weight loss include the support group Chubby Checkers (featuring Estelle Reiner, the “I’ll have what she’s having” scene-stealer in director son Rob’s …WHEN HARRY MET SALLY), as well as good-intentioned but overzealous family haranguing that only makes Dom feel worse about himself. Then Dom meets Lydia (Candice Azzara), a down-to-earth, zaftig, huggably adorable blonde who seems perfect for Dom if only he could work up the courage to ask her out. (Their eventual romance is warm and wonderful to watch. I love watching appealing character actors get to have lots of hot kissing scenes! Why should the usual movie star types have all the fun? But I digress…) Our family’s favorite scene is the attempted intervention of two Chubby Checkers when Dom tries to head off a binge, only to erupt into the most spectacular binge of all time for all concerned. It always cracks us up when Dom and his partners-in-weight-management rhapsodize dreamily about the many ways to enjoy a jelly doughnut, turning the innocent phrase “Get the honey, Junior” into a threat/chant. By turns bittersweet, zany, romantic, and warm-hearted, FATSO may be too shrill and sentimental for some tastes, but my family and I absolutely loved it from beginning to end! Born Anna Maria Italiano, Bancroft’s Bronx roots show throughout. The volatile yet endearing characters and the loving details about their lives ring true, like Martin Scorsese on laughing gas. While many of the film’s ideas about the best approaches to weight loss are dated now, it was surprisingly ahead of its time in portraying emotional eating and its tragicomic aspects — making it all the more devious that Bancroft and director of photography Brianne Murphy film the tempting, luscious-looking foodstuffs in an inviting, sensual way that brings to mind WHO IS KILLING THE GREAT CHEFS OF EUROPE? and JULIE & JULIA. Having grown up in NYC as part of a boisterous, food-loving Italian-American family (on Dad’s side; Mom’s side was Irish-American. Never a dull moment in our household! :-)) and having waged my own battle of the bulge during much of my adult life, I totally identify with FATSO. It’s like a lively Sunday dinner with my Grandma Josie and/or our other food-loving drama queen relatives and Italian-American friends in our old Bronx neighborhood — and I mean that as a compliment! 🙂 As of this writing, FATSO will be on HBO Comedy for the next few weeks. It’s not the letterboxed version FMC shows, but it’s still worth checking your local TV/cable listings!
Country: United States
Duration: 93 min
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Also known as: Pastasciutta… amore mio!,Fetty – Der Dicke legt los!,Толстяк,Grubasek,Fatso,Gordo,El gordito,O Gorducho