Monday, July 7, 1997
Issue: JULY 7, 1997 VOL. 48 NO. 1
PICKS & PANS
LEAH ROZEN; TOM GLIATTO; JULIE JORDAN
FOR ROSEANNA Mercedes Ruehl, Jean Reno
The cast of For Roseanna, a pleasant comic trifle set in the Italian countryside, boasts an American (Ruehl), a Frenchman (Reno) and two Brits (Polly Walker and the late Mark Frankel), all of whom have a swell time playing Italians. Ruehl who runs a small-town trattoria with her husband (Reno), suffers from an unspecified fatal illness that manifests itself in a tiny cough. Hubby has promised her that when she dies, he will bury her in the town’s graveyard near their deceased only child. But just three burial plots remain, so Reno must make sure that no one else in the town dies. He snatches cigarettes from smokers, pesters motorcyclists to wear helmets and urges the local doctor to keep patients on life support.
The movie’s plot eventually overstrains to amuse, but Roseanna pulls off a corker of a surprise at the end, so all is forgiven. Besides, it includes lots of eating scenes, always a big plus in movies about Italy. (PG-13)