Smiling Fish & Goat On Fire

Written, produced and starring real-life brothers Derick and Steven Martini, this self-involved look at the love lives of two fictional male siblings is the kind of film only a mother could really love; it's hard to imagine that anyone outside of the immediate family could be charmed by most of it. Since their parents were both killed in a car accident,...read more

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Reviewed by Ken Fox
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Written, produced and starring real-life brothers Derick and Steven Martini, this self-involved look at the love lives of two fictional male siblings is the kind of film only a mother could really love; it's hard to imagine that anyone outside of the immediate family

could be charmed by most of it. Since their parents were both killed in a car accident, Chris Remi (Derick Martini) and his younger brother Tony (Steven Martini) are not only each other's best friend, they're all the family they have left. But as close as they are, the brothers have completely different personalities: Chris, a levelheaded accountant, is the serious one whose commitment to his miserable, longtime girlfriend Alison (Amy Hathaway) verges on masochism. Tony, on the other hand, is a carefree aspiring actor whose complete lack of commitment to his girlfriend (Heather Jae Marie) leads him to hit on his mail carrier, Kathy (Christa Miller), a single mom with a young daughter (Nicole Ray). Their mild flirtation (he lubes her squeaky mail cart with olive oil) quickly turns serious, more serious than Tony is accustomed to. Chris likewise embarks on a completely

atypical romance when he falls for a laughing, dark-eyed Italian beauty (Rosemarie Addeo) who works as a chicken wrangler on a music video shoot. The film's silly title refers to the Remi brothers' childhood nicknames given by their half-Native American grandmother (happy Tony is "Smiling Fish"; glum Chris is "Goat on Fire"), further underscoring that the basic character difference is the film's sole conceit. The brothers' scenes together often have the feel of clumsy improv — there's a lot of back-and-forth line repetition as underwritten scenes scramble for focus. On a more positive note: Miller is charming, and veteran actor Bill Henderson, who figures in a subplot that has little to do with the rest of the film, brings a welcome level of professionalism to an otherwise amateurish production.

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  • Released: 2000
  • Rating: R
  • Review: Written, produced and starring real-life brothers Derick and Steven Martini, this self-involved look at the love lives of two fictional male siblings is the kind of film only a mother could really love; it's hard to imagine that anyone outside of the immed… (more)

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