What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Nicky Deuce is a TV movie based on a book by The Sopranos' Steve Schirripa (along with Charles Fleming), who joins a number of his former co-stars in this Nickelodeon film. You don't have to be familiar with The Sopranos' story to enjoy this one, of course, but if your tweens have a general sense of what organized crime is (and isn't), then they will better appreciate the subtleties of the movie's humor. There are some stereotypes at the hands of Brooklyn urbanites whose actions imply their dabbling in crime, but the movie's ultimate messages reflect strong family ties and the value of forgiveness. Expect some physical scuffles and a couple of hostage situations, none of which should be upsetting given the story's lighthearted tone.
What's the story?
NICKY DEUCE is the story of Nicholas Borelli II (Noah Munck), a nerdy teen whose highly structured lifestyle is thrown into turmoil when his plans to attend summer math camp don't pan out. With his parents out of the country, Nicholas is sent to Brooklyn to stay with his long-estranged grandmother, Tutti (Rita Moreno), and uncle, Frank (Steve Schirripa). Once there, he gets caught up in his uncle's business dealings and accidentally earns a reputation as a tough guy and the new moniker "Nicky Deuce." But trying to unravel the mystery of his uncle's true intentions gets Nicky and his friends in a tight spot from which only the revelation of longstanding family secrets can rescue him.
Is it any good?
Schirripa steals the show in this excellent movie based on his own co-authored children's book. Tweens and adults alike will love his portrayal of the unpredictable and slightly off-kilter Uncle Frank, who proves to be just the influence Nicky needs to come out of his shell. Sopranos fan or not, seeing this recognizable cast -- James Gandolfini, Michael Imperioli, Vincent Curatola, and Tony Sirico -- in a kids movie is reason enough to watch, and you won't be disappointed by the comical spin the story puts on their tough-guy reputations.
Happily, Nicky Deuce doesn't rely just on familiar faces (including iCarly's Munck) to win over fans. Its story is a pleasant mix of comedy, drama, and feel-good messages about the joys and frustrations of family life. Nicky's new relationships with his father's side of the family prove essential in his journey toward self-awareness and encourage other family members to set aside old grievances as well. It's a good reminder that loyalty and forgiveness can always conquer the inherent imperfections of family relationships.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about stereotypes. What role do they have in comedy? Is it ever OK to use ethnic or gender stereotypes to elicit laughs? Do you think anyone would find this story's content offensive?
Would this movie be equally successful if it didn't have such a recognizable cast? Are you more inclined to watch a movie or TV show if you're familiar with the people involved in it? Why do you think The Sopranos' stars agreed to do this movie?
What is this story's attitude toward family relationships? How would you go about repairing damaged relationships? What other shows or movies more accurately reflect your experience with family members?