American Cousins review

Dedicated to the "Italian cafes that over the past century have given the people of Scotland warmth, friendship and chips", American Cousins is a heartfelt little picture with half-hearted gangster stylings. Or, put another way, a character piece that poodles along amicably, even when brandishing Uzis and flick-knives.

Flying home to America after a botched job in the Ukraine, Mob foot soldiers Gino (Danny Nucci) and Settimo (Dan Hedaya) are forced to stop over in Glasgow, where they seek refuge with a cousin they've never met, fisn'n'chip shop owner Roberto (Gerald Lepkowski). Mild culture-clash comedy ensues, with romantic and loan-shark subplots.

The ingredients are all here for a cross-the-Pond nightmare, but you'll care for the characters, even if they never compel. Good supporting players (Snatch's Stephen Graham, The Sopranos' Vincent Pastore) compensate for the TV feel, while there are some good lines too, as when Gino suggests they blow their way out of trouble à la Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid because "You never see them get killed".


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