Urban Cinefile
"He has a wonderful sense of humour and is constantly in a side show, circus manner, juggling people's energies in order to get what he wants."  -Marton Csokas on xXx director Rob Cohen
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Saturday February 1, 2020 

Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE



Corky Romano (Chris Kattan) is an enthusiastic young veternarian with his own practice, Poodles And Pussies. Skilful if occasionally accident-prone, Corky loves animals and believes in free hugs for everyone - unlike his estranged criminal family, headed by his father, elderly mobster 'Pops' Romano (Peter Falk). When it emerges that Pops may be about to go to jail, Corky reunites with the family and is induced to go undercover impersonating an FBI agent so the evidence against Pops can be destroyed.

Review by David Edwards:
As mindlessly inane comedies go, Corky Romano isnít the worst. Chris Kattan as the eponymous vet turned undercover infiltrator never quite plumbs the depths of say Adam Sandler in Big Daddy or Martin Lawrence in Whatís the Worst That Can Happen. Thatís not to say that this mildly diverting but instantly forgettable fare should necessarily be inflicted on an unsuspecting public, but at least it doesnít induce nausea. The plot itself is entirely incidental; a broad sketch of a story that provides little more than a backdrop for Kattan to do his shtick. The gaping holes in the screenplay are evident within 10 minutes, and quickly become so monumental they donít even bear discussing. Kattan romps through the film as a slightly more sophisticated version of Pee Wee Hermann. With his gaudy ties, constant bumbling and effeminate manner, heís the most unlikely romantic lead, particularly opposite the buxom Vinessa Shaw as his love interest. Kattan certainly has his moments in the film, but he relies far too much on physical humour and goofy looks. The result is a thin pastiche of a Jerry Lewis movie, without the smarts. Peter Falk does his now-patented elderly mobster with his usual style; Chris Penn and Peter Berg are convincing as the none-too-smart brothers; while Ms Shaw tries hard, despite spending almost the entire third act dressed in a nurseís outfit and suspender belt. One of the few highlights is the very funny performance from veteran Richard Roundtree, the original Shaft. Corky Romano offers occasional chuckles, but they canít make up for its colossal faults. Astonishingly unoriginal, unevenly paced and often just plain dumb, this is one comedy that could easily be reclassified as a tragedy Ė particularly for Kattan.

Review by Jake Wilson:
On the surface this is just another dumb Hollywood comedy, with a story as old as folk-tale and as contemporary as the last Adam Sandler hit: the despised youngest son who finally wins through, proves himself a real man and gets the girl. Yet somehow this time the mixture doesn't gel. When Sandler or Rob Schneider score big with this little-guy formula, basically they're tapping into the anxieties and resentments of straight white men in the age of political correctness, displaying panicky childish weakness along with a sense of entitlement. By comparison there's something, well, queer about Chris Kattan's Corky Romano character, a bumbling blend of Dr Dolittle and Peewee Herman. Kattan may lack Peewee's flat-out perversity, but ultimately this issue can't be avoided. With his flamboyant ties, sunny smile and touchy-feely philosophy, Corky doesn't especially seem like a geeky loser; he just seems gay. Clearly on one level the film knows perfectly well what it's doing, with references to Corky as a 'jiggling little fruitcake' who 'prances around like the Little Mermaid' (he also appears in Girl Scout drag). Yet Corky's sexuality is never an overt issue, and finally we're meant to believe that he's straight after all - unlike his macho brother, who's induced to come out of the closet. What is all this doubledealing meant to prove? A guilty obsession with gayness (and anal penetration) is a comic staple in movies of this ilk; while it seems for a moment that the issue may be confronted directly here, the script quickly lapses into blissful incoherence. Kattan is a reasonably talented physical comedian when it comes to jitters and pratfalls, but ultimately there's no way of knowing who Corky is meant to be - and hence why anyone would want to identify with the character, or find him attractive.

Email this article

Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 2
Mixed: 0



CAST: Chris Kattan, Vinessa Shaw, Peter Falk, Peter Berg, Chris Penn, Fred Ward, Richard Roundtree

PRODUCERS: Robert Simonds

DIRECTOR: Rob Pritts

SCRIPT: David Garrett, Jason Ward


EDITOR: Alan Cody


RUNNING TIME: 85 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Buena Vista International

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: February 14, 2002

© Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2020