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The Family 

Dark humour from De Niro

click to enlarge robertdenirothefamily.jpg

Martin Scorsese produces a Luc Besson film in The Family---a gangster comedy that can't live up to its own pedigree. After ratting on his mafia buddies eight years ago, former boss Robert De Niro is moving into yet another French town with wife Michelle Pfeiffer and their two kids. The aging actor is more alive here than he's been in most recent films. All the dark humour allows De Niro to follow through on the implied sadism that Meet the Parents and Analyze This sadly eschewed. Pfeiffer plays a well-layered wife/arsonist, and Glee's Dianna Agron shines as the good girl daughter with a psychotic streak. But, one bizarrely on-the-ball meta joke aside, The Family largely flutters by. With nobodies making this film, it'd be a fine late-summer comedy. It's hard not to want more, though, with names like Pfeiffer, Scorsese, Besson and De Niro on the marquee.

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