A Mafia wife (Michelle Pfeiffer) is tired of her life with professional mobster Frank “The Cucumber” De Marco (Alec Baldwin). Her furniture is stolen, there are guns lying around the house, and her son is already hustling other kids for cash. But when she decides to make a break for a new life, she’s pursued by the FBI and a mob boss (Dean Stockwell) who’d like to go to the mattresses with her, if you know what I mean.
From Silence of the Lambs director Jonathan Demme, this is one of those 80s comedies that prioritises plot over laughs. The story gets quite involved as Melania makes a break for freedom and starts her new life. She begins a romance with FBI agent Mike Downey (Matthew Modine), while also fending off dangerous mob boss Tony “The Tiger”, who gets a frosty reception from the former Mafia spouse.
There are lots of clever throwaway lines that are so quick and so deadpan you might miss them, and jokes at the expense of movie mob culture which turn this from Scarface to Scarfarce. It’s well directed overall but the editing is occasionally choppy, and the music is incredibly 80s sounding.
Pfeiffer gives an excellent lead performance, in a script which has more “forget about its” than Donnie Brasco. Her character is likeable and easy to buy into, even if her son, one of her main motivations for leaving, is disappointingly forgotten about half way through the film. This all adds up to a solid film, even if it’s not quite The Godfather of comedies.