Little Kings | Chicago Reader

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Expanded from a short, this 2003 tale of a dysfunctional Italian-American family in New Jersey takes a while to generate some laughs, none of them gut busters. Three brothers clash over their messy love lives: the oldest, a construction boss, is cheating on his very pregnant wife; the middle brother (Dominic Pace) is smitten with her; and the youngest is fooling around with their hottie cousin. Most of the performances are nicely turned, but too much depends on Pace, more irritating than endearing as the guilt-ridden middle child. Director Marylou Tibaldo-Bongiorno puts a darkly comic spin on the romance and, to her credit, largely avoids ethnic stereotypes. 99 min.

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