When you have it all and it's not right, you argue with yourself. Angela (Michelle Pfeiffer) knows. She does that.

"Everything we own fell off a truck," she whines.

She's the wife of Frankie DeMarco (Alec Baldwin) and Frankie's no pussycat. He's a hitman for Tony 'The Tiger' Russo (Dean Stockwell).

Frankie is foolish. He spends nights with Tony's away-from-home squeeze. Three in a waterbed can be choppy and so Tony eliminates the competition.

FBI agent Mike Downey (Matthew Modine), with sidekick Ed 'Dogface' Benitez (Oliver Platt), have The Mob under surveillance. The killing of Frankie might be the break they're looking for.

"When a man gets angry," Mike says, "he gets sloppy."

Ed allows a smile to unlock his face. The chase is on.

Mike and Ed are idiots, of course. Tony's an idiot, too, but he's more heavily armed. Angela thinks she's an idiot, but she's not. When Tony starts sending expensive presents, followed by suggestive invitations, she sells the house in the suburbs, gives away the furniture, grabs her son and heads for a scummy tenement on New York's Lower East Side.

True to form, Mike and Ed have misread the signs. They think Angela and Tony are an item. They follow her, bug the mod cons and wait. One day, Mike bumps into Angela in the elevator. He says he's a plumber; she asks him for a date.

There's nothing original about Mafia spoofs. What's new is when they work. Jonathan (The Silence Of The Lambs) Demme displays the same confidence as Martin Scorsese and David Lynch. He moves into dangerous territory like a bandit, ignoring the warnings and trusting his instincts.

For sheer style, the film is electric. Demme is incapable of being boring and consistently comes up with surprises. He avoids parody as far as possible, which isn't far, before tumbling into farce.

The performances are a delight, especially Modine who brings fresh insight to an old role and Pfeiffer who is intelligently silly.

The film tingles with originality. It is restless, zappy and eccentric.

Reviewed on: 28 Feb 2003
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Married To The Mob packshot
Michelle Pfeiffer is a Mafia widow on the run and under surveillance by Matthew Modine (FBI).
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Director: Jonathan Demme

Writer: Barry Strugatz, Mark R Burns

Starring: Michelle Pfeiffer, Matthew Modine, Dean Stockwell, Mercedes Ruehl, Alec Baldwin, Oliver Platt, Trey Wilson, Joan Cusack, Tod Solondz

Year: 1988

Runtime: 103 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US

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