Couples

By CAROLYN CLAY  |  June 19, 2007

All you recovering Sopranos-holics will want to know that writer Carol de Matteo is the mother of Emmy-winning actress Drea de Matteo. She milks the Italian-American working-class idiom for some amusing Ralph Kramden moments, and she has a playful wink at psychiatry, too, creating a quartet of characters who are good people, however operatic or prickly. But the premise — that Michael is reduced to tears of rage by his lover’s chosen wedding color scheme and then driven to ice-swan-wrecking revenge by the mother who wants him to have more agency in his relationship — is strained. And the long-ago family-rending tragedy that began with soap bubbles floating over a Little League field and ends in bond-forging revelation at the Ritz seems both hoky and surreal. Engel and the gruff Roger Serbagi extract more genuine comedy from Angelo’s toilette, which concludes with his pouring a shot from the mini-bar and then popping open a spring water — not to dilute his drink but to slick back what’s left of his hair.

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