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Variety | 'Friends And Romans' Review

Variety

A comedy about refuting expectations that never deviates from formula, “Friends and Romans” squanders charismatic star Michael Rispoli in a leaden mess that elicits nothing but eye-rolling groans. Populated by Italian-American actors most notable for filling out the ranks of various gangster films and TV shows, director Christopher Kublan’s dramedy finds a pigeonholed thespian trying to break free from his dead-end career as an extra in organized-crime fictions by staging a one-night-only theatrical Shakespeare production. While its portrait of people striving to be more than they are — or presumed to be — affords some genial uplift, this indie’s theatrical prospects will probably be limited to the tiny niche of moviegoers who can’t get enough “Godfather”-related gags.

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