Phil Botti’s ‘Loose Change’ is a perfect example of all of that.
Carmine Famiglietti plays Jimmy, a plump Brooklynite who can’t seem to get on his elderly landlord’s good side. With a Kevin James meets Tony Soprano look to him, Famiflietti, garbed in New Jersey Nets and other sports teams shirts throughout the picture, is undeniably Italian and even more undeniably Brooklyn. He’s appeared in several other shorts over the years and after this, it is obvious he’s due a decent role in a longer film. Good-looking, but large, Famiglietti is a perfect everyman with a bit of Jackie Gleason charisma, which makes him accessible, funny and perfect for this role.
The same thing can be said for Graciela Lecube’s portrayal of old Mrs. Alvarado. A bit crazy, but ultimately smarter than every one else thinks, Lecube [older soap fans may remember her from her run on “One Life to Life” almost 30 years ago] is hilarious in every scene and makes herself loveable by being completely and utterly annoying and rude.
Annie Basulto and Madeline Deferrari are also cute and fun in their small roles and do a solid job of making Famiglietti that much more realistic. Had he been miserable throughout the performance and without any company, the film would have lost some of its staying power. However with two beautiful young actresses by his side at different times, he’s a more interesting character and the film is better because of it.
With a great look, dark humor and great performances from everyone involved, “Loose Change” feels like an episode of “King of Queens,” with a Scorsesean twist [think of his older work, such as “After Hours”]. Because of that, it’s a treasure to behold.