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Good looking fishmonger Jake Bianski (Jay Jablonski) is still stuck on ex-girlfriend Isabella (Marisa Petroro), even though she dumped him eight years ago and is now married with three children. Jake's work colleagues Steve and Gianluca (John Kapelos, John Enos III) set him up with sassy, smart veterinarian Marisa (Cerina Vincent) at an Italian singles night. Convinced Marisa would not consider dating someone of different ethnicity, Jake pretends to be Italian. But just as Jake's friendship with Marisa blossoms into romance, Isabella decides she wants him back after all, leaving Jake to decide whether to keep living in the past or embrace the promise of the future.

Review by Louise Keller:
A love story filled with quirky twists, this delightful rom com is as funny as it is romantic. Ethnicity and fish are two unexpected ingredients that propel the romance between Jay Jablonski's fishmonger protagonist Jake and super-smart veterinarian Marisa (Cerina Vincent) in a story that has as many turns as a fish has scales. Director Jason Todd Ipson's script is deceptively simple. We know from the start there is going to be a happy ending, yet we are constantly surprised. The characters are all nicely developed as is their interaction, and we care about them. It's all a bit offbeat and as a consequence we are more than ready to chuckle and open up our hearts.

Everything is clearly laid out in the film's first 10 minutes. Jake thinks Marisa Petroro's married-with-children Isabella is his soul-mate. But as his friend and colleague Gianluca (John Enos III) says 'Soul-mates are like fish; they're everywhere'. And, Gianluca is not alone in the philosophy-giving stakes. Both colleague John Kapelos's Steve, who is studying psychology ('psychology is the study of the very ill by the very odd') and Papa Aldo (Richard Libertin) dish out plenty of pearls of wisdom, including Papa's observation that 'Everybody wants to be Italian', when Jake gets set up with Marisa ('she could knock the brass off a doorknob with her smile') at an Italian Singles Club. Never mind that Jake is Polish. His friends have taken it upon themselves to rid the lovelorn Jake of his unsuitable dead-end pining relationship with Isabella. Then we discover that Marisa is not Italian either. (But that's our little secret.)

The first date is a disaster; his truck smells like fish, so they take the subway and he puts both feet in his mouth at the same time. The quickest way to a man's heart is through his stomach, Marisa's Italian neighbour suggests, but there is nothing traditional about the way their relationship evolves. Therapy from someone wearing a fishy apron; an academic dinner that turns into something else and carrying an aquarium tank into a vet's surgery ('looks like a mobile Chinese restaurant') are all ingredients that navigate together on Jake's road to happiness. The nationality issue resolves itself naturally in the end and it's a nice touch that displays flag and nationality under the closing credits of key crew members. If you're not Italian, you sure wannabe.

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(US, 2007)

CAST: Jay Jablonski, Cerina Vincent, John Kapelos, John Enos III, Richard Libertini, Marisa Petroro, Perry Anzilotti, Anthony Russell, Tammy Pescatelli, Dan Cortese, Judith Scarpone, P.J. Marino, Penny Marshall, Sylvia Panacione, Damien Di Paola

PRODUCER: Jaime Burke, James Huntsman

DIRECTOR: Jason Todd Ipson

SCRIPT: Jason Todd Ipson

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Michael Fimognari

EDITOR: Mike Saenz

MUSIC: Michael Cohen


RUNNING TIME: 107 minutes


AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: July 2, 2009 (Gold Coast Arts Centre); July 9, 2009 (Cinemax Cinema Kingscliff in Northern NSW)

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