There is nothing that I absolutely love more than culture shock. A person who is one hundred percent out of their comfort zone, just struggling to survive. But, what I love more than that is how people can make the best of their unfruitful situation. A Stand Up Guy teaches us that no matter how bad life can get, you absolutely need to make the best of what is in front of you. This is a comedy worth watching because this is a Mafia gangster film like you have never seen before.
The logline states:
“When his outrageous open-mic standup comedy routine goes viral, low-rent mobster-in-hiding Sammy gets a lot of attention he seriously doesn’t want.”
Sammy Lagucci is a wise guy- loveable loser who has the dilemma that most mobsters have; keep your mouth shut or be a “rat.” The reason why he chooses to be a “rat” and enter the FBI Witness Protection Program is because of the love that he has for his daughter. This dimension of his character helps the audience connect with Sammy. Without the emphasis on his concern for his daughter’s safety, Sammy would be just another loud mouth, a wise guy that we have seen time and time again. I mean, who wants to leave Brooklyn and go live in the middle of the boonies in Wisconsin?
The best part of this film is the clash of cultures, Italian mobster meets small-town Wisconsin folk. Slicked backed hair, 800 dollar suits, and fancy lunch meats meet plaid, honky tonks, motorcycles and midwestern accents. Sammy and his new found situation are as different as night and day. They go together like water and oil, which makes for a hilarious combination for wonderful laughs. The dynamic of the film is quite intriguing because it is fascinating to see how these small town people react to such a “big town” personality.
What I loved about Sammy Lagucci was how he didn’t try to fit in with the people in his new environment. He stayed true to himself being the fish out of water that he is. Through stand-up comedy, he found his niche in a small town. This guy went from running with the Mafia to running with a Hells Angel’s type of gang. It just goes to show that no matter how different you are, you can fit in just about anywhere just as long as you continue to be yourself. Sammy teaches the audience that it is okay to be yourself because who cares if people think that you are weird; what is being normal anyway?
Side note: There is a fantastic cameo appearance in this film. Once you identify who this actor is, you will fall out of your seat, laughing. Trust me. If it happened to me, then it can happen to you.
Being different is impressive, and this film shows us how “distinction” is a powerful notion. When Sammy becomes recognized for his comedic talents, he decides to quit because he knows that his former fellow Goodfellas will be able to wack him so that he can’t testify. But do you know what happens? The people of the town speak up and tell him how important his comedy and his dynamic personality has positively influenced their lives. How remarkable is that?
A Stand Up Guy is genuinely an entertaining film full of laughs that will teach you to stay true to yourself and to make the best of every situation in life. Just remember, your unique self will always have a huge impact on someone else.
So, why be anyone but yourself?
“The Zos Knows”
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