Matt LeBlanc is a household name, thanks to his 10-year stint playing Joey Tribbiani in the sitcom mega-smash, Friends. Friends was a cultural phenomenon, with memorable characters, classic storylines and an almost endless supply of quotable quips.
However, in 1994, the same year the Friends started, he co-starred in this low budget drama about Italian Americans living in LA. Though second billed in the credits, his sitcom breakout puts LeBlanc front and centre in all the marketing. Is it a cynical ploy to increase the films’ income? Of course it is, but everyone would do the same.
Jay Acavone leads the film as Vinny Palazzo, a New Yorker with a gangland past, who moved to LA to escape a traumatising event in his past. Matt LeBlanc plays Anthony, his hot headed nephew, sent to his Uncle Vinny in the City of Angels to learn some discipline. The trailer and synopsis make this seem like a gritty, lo-budget crime drama, full of intensity.
The main problem here is that Matt Leblanc embodied Joey Trbbiani perfectly. A wonderful blend of innocent machismo, and charming stupidity. With 10 years of memories of Matt, is it possible to take him seriously during the serious, dramatic moments.
Join Ben and Foz to see if the ghost of Joey looms large over this, or does Matt LeBlanc have the acting chops to carry it off.