Pizza Bagel: ICFF Film Review

Posted 6 years ago by myetvmedia

The short comedy Pizza Bagel is directed by Joe Mari, who also wrote the screenplay with Michael Pillarella, who is one of its stars.  Gino Cafarelli, Alona Metzer and Canada’s “Queen of Comedy”, Carla Collins also star in the film.

A quick, perky and hilarious script makes the adorable short film, “Pizza Bagel” as palatable as it’s scrumptious namesake. The film centers around what happens when an overzealous Italian father tries to prepare a kosher meal for his son’s Jewish girlfriend and mother. Although Pizza Bagel is only 10 minutes in length, the premise and the characters could have been stretched out into a feature length film, that would be reminiscent of the 2002 Cultural Rom-Com, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”. Serious nods to stereotypes might have some rolling their eyes, but for me it just added to the ridiculous humor and again had me wondering, “Why wasn’t this an hour long film?”

At moments Pillarella’s acting feels a little forced, a small nitpick that can quickly be forgiven when he smiles a shy little smile in the last minute of the film that convinces me that this actor has some serious acting chops just under the surface. Another moment to watch out for is the 30 second exchange between Pillarella and co-star Metzer that bursts at the seams with chemistry. Are these two a real-life couple? If not, they had me fooled. Veteran actor, Gino Cafarelli; who you’ll probably recognize from shows such as The Sopranos or the movieThe Good Shepherd; is the shining star for this film with his humorous balance of loving father and zealous Italian patriot. Co-star Carla Collins aka “The Canadian Queen of Comedy”  is a close second with her portrayal as the uptight, proper Mother delivering the highlight line of the film for me.

Does everyone have an Italian flag? It’s like a support group.

Pizza Bagel has the honour of being on the closing bill of the ICFF July 1st, at 6:30pm at TIFF Bell Lightbox before the feature length film, Posti In Piedi In Paradiso, as a fond farewell to the inaugural Italian Contemporary Film Festival in Toronto, Canada.


-Lauren Schell



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