Love Is All There Is (1996) Poster

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A very amusing treatment of a classic tragedy
J Cairo25 April 2000
A delightfully unpretentious send up of Romeo and Juliet. Approach with no expectations other than having a good time and you will enjoy this one. A talented group of comic actors let go and have a riot in this light-hearted performers' vehicle. Bad reviews were due to a snobbishness about treatments of Shakespeare. Some people feel that all film must be "important" ---If you share those views, don't bother. The credits read "introducing" Angelina Jolie, which is not even close to being true, but she is astoundingly beautiful as the Juliet character, and, as always, her acting is wonderful--- and, considering her age at the time, even her dialect is pretty good. Recreating this classic tale with feuding Italian families in the catering business in New York results in great fun. See it in the right frame of mind and you will laugh out loud.
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What does the Blessed Rosco have to say?
vertigo_1410 January 2004
Love Is All There is a funny movie. It's basically an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, Italian-American style. Two teenagers fall in love, much to the disgust of their feuding parents who own competing catering companies. Lanie Kazan is Rosarios (aka Romeo's) mother who is always going to this nutty psychic-type lady who gives her some obscure clues that her dear son is going to fall in love with someone and forget all about his mother. It turns out that the girl is Gina (aka Juliet) played by Angelina Jolie. So the feuding parents go all out to stop the two from falling in love, and ridiculously enough, the 16 year-olds want to get married at the end.

The movie is hilarious, though some of the other comments posted by other views would probably discourage people from viewing the movie. Sure, the entire love affair between the son and daughter is so stupid. But, I guess that's to be expected since they're just supposed to be dumb teenagers in love. In fact, the real gems of the movie are the parents, particularly Lanie Kazan's role, and the wacky psychich (Joe Bologna's real life wife) because they are just totally wacko people, so it turns out to be a totally wacky comedy. One that I sure enjoyed.

I think it's worth a shot.
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A romantic comedy
Heinz579 December 2001
A sweet story of first love, emoting Romeo and Juliet in a modern American setting. The whole thing is played as a farce, as between the grownups who are trying to (over)protect their children. Angelina Jolie gives a totally charming performance, that resonates with one's romantic side (if one has that). If you like the actress, you have to have this movie. A fun movie without any message other than, that love is all there is. If it was available on DVD I would buy it in a minute!
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I Loved it!
Oldsport5717 January 2002
I, too, stumbled upon this movie late one night on cable, and woke my husband up laughing and punching him in the ribs!

Renee Taylor and Joe Bologna are funny, funny people (loved him in "Blame It On Rio") Lainie Kazan was perfect as his wife, and Paul Sorvino is just a GREAT actor. Didn't realize till later that this must also have been one of Angelina Jolie's first roles.

As a participant/guest/victim of many Italian wedding extravaganzas, I loved it. A New Yawk version of "Blazing Saddles".

Four out of five stars from me!
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Woke up the neighbors!
Oldsport5721 August 2002
Never saw this film until it was on late-nite TV.

My husband still has bruises from my pounding on him to wake up! I laughed until I cried!

The cast...goes without saying...magnificent. Bravura performances by all. Being brought up in an old-fashioned Italian neighborhood, I was able to identify with so many of the "grownups" in my past.

If you're really bummed, your checking account balance is in red, the IRS is after you, and your sinus headache is keeping you awake, find this film. It will cure all that and smooth out your hangnails, too!
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A charming story of a sweet, young love!
Heinz5726 October 2003
Angelina Jolie in a role showing a charming sweetness to an even higher degree than in 'Playing by Heart'. The courtship plays out against a somewhat contrived background of Italian family rivalry, somewhat reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet, but with a Hollywood happy end, even though with heavy handed ethnicity thrown in. If this movie was available on DVD I would buy it in a New York minute ;-). Fun entertainment for the whole family. No doubt I am prejudiced since I really like Angelina, but then what's not to like about her (forget about her personal life)? Charming.
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A delightful comedy worth seeing!
acidstar23 December 1999
First off, let me say I have wanted to see this movie for about a year now because I knew Angelina Jolie was in it and I love her. But my love for her has nothing to do with my opinion of the movie. Anyhow, no video stores carried it but low and behold the local library did. I watched it and absolutely loved it. Yes there were Italian stereotypes but it was done well and funny. It was not degrading in any way.

Every actor and actress did a superb job. I laughed very hard at the sexual humor. Overall, I think this movie is well worth seeing if you can find it. It is adorable and just plain fun to watch. I rarely rank movies as a 10 but I give this one a 10!!!

Go find it and watch it!
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The only real reason to see this movie is for Angelina Jolie at 20 -- but that's a plenty good reason.
djexplorer12 August 2001
Warning: Spoilers
***SPOILERS*** ***SPOILERS*** This Italian-American farce is one of those intentionally "so bad it's good" sorts of movies. It's a decidedly B movie, but it's campy fun. She radiantly plays an angelicly pure but smoldering 16 year old princess, more than ready to pop the cork on her sexuality, previously successfully guarded by her parents. Phew!!! It's her youngest soft, romantic type role. "I'm crazy in love with you Rosario". "My parent's don't like any man for me. Especially they don't like you. Because you are sexy, and dangerous." "Be tender with me Rosario. I'm a virgin." In what other movie will you get to see Anglina lose her innocence??? (Well, maybe in Cyborg 2. There she's a kick boxing sex assassin robot though, so perhaps it doesn't count.)

Of course "Love is All There Is" fully intends to be campy. It's a broad humor romp though 60's or 70's Italian working class bad taste, mixed with endearingly warm personalities and high sex drives. It's plot is a reprise of the Romeo and Juliette story, played with an in your face lack of subtlety. The unlikely 16 year old couple are the children of two rival NYC Bronx (City Island) catering families, brought together by their roles in a community play. It's staged by Gina's (Jolie) parents to attract the goodwill of the bedrock S. Italian working class (culturally, if not necessarily economically) community, which is crucial for their business success. They are titled Florentines, but economically reduced enough to be trying to make a big success in the same business and community where Rosario's (the Romeo) parents are better established, in a down scale sort of way. Rosario's parents' have decidedly working class S. Italian roots (like most of New York's, and America's, Italian community) and working class taste, although they have made good, if precariously, in the local wedding banquet business.

Of course the stage kisses that really bring this couple together become vastly overheated by their ripe sexuality and first love passion. Jolie's father is horrified, and the onlooking S. Italian women from grandmothers to teenagers become overheated in sympathetic excitement. Their impetuous, reckless romance then proceeds at a galloping pace in their real lives, while the two families try to keep the two apart for their class different but essentially similar reasons.

The humor is often too broad to feel just right, though it nearly always scores some sort of hit. You tend to wince through some of it. You also can't help but chuckle or laugh at other parts. There is no doubt that the direction in this movie was always to overact, to make characatures of all the parts, and that's just what the actors do. Paul Sorvino was at the time the big name here and is only so-so, but Barbara Carrera, who though stunning is usually a poor actress given limited eye candy sorts of parts, is actually very good here as a haughty aristocrat. (She's most famous as Fatima Blush in some Bond films.) Anglina Jolie is one of the few who doesn't overact -- though the others no doubt do so by design. She's absolutely radiant as a previously virginal but precociously sexually overflowing 16 year old. It's easy to suppose the whole farce was structured around her -- though at the time she was a little known fledgling actress.

The conflict between Northern and Southern Italian culture, often symbolized by the cuisine of these feuding catering families, is a running joke -- sort of. Jolie is seen holed up in her room at one point, with a plate of elegant N.Italian butterfly pasta, with a thin white sauce, left untouched. (It looks right out of countless Manhattan northern Italian restaurants.) Meanwhile Rosario's parents are given to roccoco four food wedding cakes, to impress their mostly seriously overstuffed clients. Their house is filled with elaborately awful 'sculpted' plastic objects, and the like. In one hilarious scene, Rosario and his buddies make good on their scheme to snatch Gina from her parents by staging a chaotic diversion at their northern Italian style catering hall. They sabotage the pale pink pasta sauce warming in a huge sliver serving dish by -- horror of horrors -- pouring in a huge cooking pot's worth of dark red tomato sauce!! The guests start gaging at the results, of course.

Well, it's all worth it for the still virtually teenage, way beyond luscious, Angelina.
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It's so bad, it's painful
raymond-1530 August 2006
This film is readily available as a DVD, but please save your well-earned money. Fortunately for me I was able to borrow the DVD from our local library so it cost me nothing, only my valuable time.

I thought the whole film lacked any professional standard. A local church dramatic society could do as well, may be better.

I liked the idea of a farce built around the story of Shakepeare's Romeo and Juliet with feuding families and their suffering children.

I may be losing my sense of humour. I hope not. I found myself smiling a few times and I cracked a laugh when the boy's down-to=earth Mum put her chewing gum in the antique vase. There were also a few risqué moments when Romeo lost control when kissing Juliet during their stage performance. It's difficult to hide your enthusiasm when wearing tights.

The medium giving advice on affairs of the heart says "Love is all there is...but we need so much more". This film sure is lacking in something, so skip this one, my friend.
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funny,entertaining captures true Italian comical atmosphere.
mimo-46 September 1999
This was truly one of the most hilarious, Italian films I have seen. It truly captures some of the comical Italian atmosphere, although some scenes were too farcical as far as Italian humor goes.All in all a good film that I would see over again.
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Perfect for a few belly laughs without being dirty
vincentlynch-moonoi19 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Class. This film ain't got it.

Laughs. This film has.

This is a wacky sort of low class version of "Romeo And Juliet", and I imagine Shakespeare is rolling over in his grave every time it's shown on cable. But I laughed. Out loud.

It's a remarkably good cast. Lainie Kazan -- one of America's most underrated performers -- is great here as a klitzy Italian mother. Joseph Bologna is fine as her husband...together they own a very pedestrian Italian restaurant. Paul Sorvino is genuinely funny as another Italian restaurateur...but a classy one. Barbara Carrera, as his wife, did not impress me.

Not everyone impresses here. I never got the attraction to William Hickey, who here plays a priest (which is ironic, as the priest in my home town when I was growing up was Father William Hickey). Dick Van Patten is fine...he has virtually no speaking part. Abe Vigoda is wasted, and has little more than a few lines here and there. Connie Stevens...why? Interesting to see an appearance by Joy Behar.

The two lovers? Well, buckle your seat belts. Angelina Jolie is rather unattractive and demonstrates little acting a performance I'm sure embarrasses her today. On th other hand, Nathaniel Marston is perfect as the boy.

Want a few belly laughs? Like ethnic humor? Then you'll probably enjoy this goofy film. I did.
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Great Cast! Weak Script!
Sylviastel1 May 2010
I love the cast of this film which reads like a great party. Real-life couple Renee Taylor and Joseph Bologna adapts Romeo and Juliet to contemporary Italian families living on City Island in the Bronx. They filmed this film mostly on location. It's worth noting that Angelina Jolie makes her debut as well. Taylor plays a psychic while Bologna plays the Rosario's father who runs a wedding hall on the island. His wife is played by the wonderful Lainie Kazan who seeks spiritual assistance with Mona played by Taylor. Joy Behar also has a small role in this film as one of the Italian wives and mothers. The movie is set around July 4 where the local play is Romeo and Juliet. A mishap causes the original Juliet to lose the role. Then comes Jolie's Regina into the role. Regina and Rosario fall in love as quickly as Romeo and Juliet but it doesn't end badly. Paul Sorvino and Barbara Carrera play Regina's parents who also own a wedding hall.
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Pain is all there is
nolen326 July 2003
Well, TiVo recorded this because of Angelina Jolie. It had 2.5 stars. It seemed promising. It went downhill fast.

There is much overacting, even from Angelina. She's about 20 and playing a 16 year old. There are three characters that are supposed to be Italian. Everyone else is Italian- American. The native Italian accents were good, I thought. The young male lead is cute, my wife says. Everyone else in this movie is a fat Italian woman. Even the men.

I should have known that when Dick Van Patten was cast as a randy doctor, that that was a bad sign. The two couples chasing their kids around are like the four Italian Stooges.

My wife would not let go of the remote. Hopefully she was not taking makeup, clothing or decorating tips. It was a sick and twisted combination of hideous and garish. It was hidegarishous.

Cutting off my left ventricle was not sufficient to distract from the pain of watching this movie. If this movie shows up on your TV, do yourself a favor and ram your head through the TV screen instead. You'll be glad you did. The only movie I've ever seen that was worse than this was "Hamburger: The Movie". Or maybe "Deadly Friend".
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oh dear
star-199927 May 2006
OMG this is one of the worst films iv ever seen and iv seen a lot I'm a Film student. I don't understand why Angelina Jolie would be in this movie? Did she need the money that badly? I love AJ and have seen almost everything shes ever been in so i watched this 2 tick another one off. It was SOO bad! not even good bad, just bad bad. It had 1 or 2 funny little moments but all in all it was bad n a waste of 101 minutes. I cant even say AJ looked good in it because well she didn't. The plot is predictable unless you r expecting a re-telling of Romeo and Juliet then its not. All round disappointing. Maybe if your 12 this could be a good film otherwise I really don't recommend it.
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Paul Sorvino seems rightly pained
Flipper16 January 2004
The great Paul Sorvino plays a well-bred man who is pained to be forced to socialize with the low-class and vulgar Lainie Kazan and Joe Bologna, but his incredulous and exasperated expressions may just be his own response to finding himself in this movie.

A grandmother sees her grandson play Romeo in his high school production of "Romeo and Juliet" and remarks appreciatively upon the ample size of his genitals. Twice. That is the level of humor in this film.

Your move.
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'I pointed out that bad taste is better than no taste at all.'
TxMike7 March 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Correct, this is not a very good movie. I saw it for only one reason, to see a young and not-yet known Angeline Jolie. She is the only thing worth watching here, and her screen time is way too short.

The best thing one can take away from this movie is how well-established actors, like Bologna and Sorvino, hardly ever are good at writing scripts and making movies. This one focuses primarily on the older actors with top billing, but the whole thing is an unfunny farce that with the loud dialog and broad gestures would come off better as a live stage play.

It borrows greatly from the 'Romeo and Juliet' story but set in modern times in the Bronx section known as City Island. One family is the largest caterer in the area, the other sets up as the most elegant caterer. Their ancestry represents different Italian classes. The local high school is putting on 'Romeo and Juliet', the son of the working class family plays Romeo, the daughter of the upper crust family plays Juliet. Both are 16 (both actually about 20 during filming) and fall madly in love. But they are too young, and she is scheduled to return to Paris for her education.

I became a big fan of Lainie Kazan back in the 1960s when she was a great popular singer on the order of Barbra Streisand, and our first daughter is named Lainie. I enjoyed her here as the Italian mama.

Angelina Jolie is of course the young girl, Gina Malacici, and she is very good with her Italian accent. She is clearly the best part of this cast and it would have been a better movie if she had been featured more. Nathaniel Marston was her Romeo as Rosario Capomezzo . He wasn't particularly good but got the job done.
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Stereotyped But Wonderful
longsworth10124 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
The movie itself made me want to go and call someone so they could enjoy it too. It was extremely funny. Angelena Jolie was wonderful as Juliet. The parents are hilarious.They are caterers as well as enemies.The kids play the parts of Romeo and Juliet in the church play.They fall in love and their parents try to keep them apart.(Spoiler Ahead. I think) They sneak off after a party and do it. Surprisingly they still want to get married in the end of the movie. If you don't like stereotypes and the defilement of classic literature don't watch. If you don't mind those you will have a blast watching this one.
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Magnificent Kitsch! A terrific send-up of the Romeo and Juliet story.
jamessylvester1 October 2006
This truly funny movie has a zany cast of characters, just about every voluptuous middle-aged female in Hollywood, and a touching, funny love story. The Capomezza's and the Malacici's are rival caterers in an Italian neighborhood in New York. They are also at opposite--extreme--ends of the taste scale. Their children are cast in the lead roles of a church production of Romeo and Juliet. Naturally, they fall in love. On stage! The mayhem and confusion that this causes, as the parents feud with each other and their kids, is played out for us against the backdrop of the Capomezza's magnificently tasteless home, and their magnificently tasteless catered weddings.

Besides the four over-the-top parents and the charming young lovers, the characters include a vaguely wise priest, a plain-speaking grandma, a lady who waves a wand and passes on spiritual advice she receives from a medium called The Blessed Roscoe, a motel with beds shaped like the back seat of a car, and two doves. There is not a sight gag or a punch line that doesn't click in this fast paced movie.

Even the family names of the two families are part of the fun. "Capomezza" could be interpreted as "low-brows," and "Malacici" could mean "stuck-up snobs."

If you are sensitive about Italian stereotypes, you may not like this movie. If Bette Midler embarrasses you, you may not like it, because all of the women in this movie make Bette Midler look like Martha Stewart. The rest of us should love it!
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Entertaining story of modern day Italian-Americans caught in a Romeo & Juliet situation.
Jules87A20 February 2005
I liked this movie. The unreality of it all is what makes it entertaining. The cast is interesting. The portrayal of the Italian-American wedding is hilarious. Angelina Jolie is billed as "Introducing Angelina Jolie" ........ you are treated to a young, innocent Angelina. Connie Stevens is unrecognizable and I only knew she was a cast member when I viewed the credits. Paul Sorvino has a chance to show some operatic talent which is impressive. The array of food makes you hungry and the events are so unbelievable they make you laugh. I feel fortunate that I was able to find this movie on DVD and could add it to my collection for a very reasonable price. If you are Italian-American or even plain old American, this movie has something to offer.
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Stupid... Talent is wasted in this movie.
Funkypizza20019 January 2003
Stupid, Stupid, Stupid. I think that Angelina Jolie is probably one of the most talented actress' today, but a movie like this isn't just worth her time. She deserves better, and so does everyone else in this movie. Talent is just wasted. Sorry, but i don't feel like writing a review for this.

I give it NO stars out of *****.
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Truly, truly a weird one
skad1326 August 1999
I was channel-surfing the other day and came across this one on AMC Romance Classics. Who thought this movie was either funny or romantic? It's a dreary parade of Italian stereotypes that seems to have been photographed through the same Vaselined lens that shot PORKY'S. It's no surprise to see Lainie Kazan and her ever-expanding bosom overemoting, but I thought Paul Sorvino was above this kind of drek. The weirdest moment is seeing Kazan and Renee Taylor (both of whom had recurring roles on Fran Drescher's TV show "The Nanny") together on screen. Evidently, these aging harpies can't make up their minds whether they're Italian
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