The 4Th Tenor

  • 2002
  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • Comedy, Romance

Although veteran comedian Rodney Dangerfield looks physically frail, fans should enjoy his antics in this slight romantic comedy inspired by Dangerfield's days as a singing waiter. It opens with a sympathetic bartender, Alphonse (Charles Fleischer), comforting a lovesick customer by relating the story of his boss, Lupo (Dangerfield ), who didn't have a...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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Although veteran comedian Rodney Dangerfield looks physically frail, fans should enjoy his antics in this slight romantic comedy inspired by Dangerfield's days as a singing waiter. It opens with a sympathetic bartender, Alphonse (Charles Fleischer), comforting a lovesick customer by relating the story of his boss, Lupo (Dangerfield ), who didn't have a care in the world until he hired Gina (Annabelle Gurwitch) to sing in his restaurant, the Serenade Cafe. Lupo falls head over heels in love with tough-cookie Gina, rejects the older man's advances, insisting that she could only fall for a great opera singer. Hoping to encourage Lupo to turn his eyes elsewhere, Alphonse persuades ticket-scalper Ierra (Robert Davi) to introduce himself to the ambitious Gina as a talent scout. But Ierra sees a way to work his own scam and doublecrosses Alphonse. He declares Lupo — who can't sing a note — a great talent and sends him to Italy to s t u d y with Vincenzo (Richard Libertini), the world's worst vocal coach. Ierra, meanwhile, collects a generous salary from the deluded Lupo. Vincenzo mistakenly books Lupo the lead in an opera, with the inevitable results: Passionate music lovers boo him out of town. The disgraced Lupo is rescued by luscious Rosa (Anita DeSimone), whose relatives all sing like angels. Lupo soon learns their secret: The family's homemade wine confers the ability to warble like a bird. With a few cases of reinforcement in tow, Lupo returns to America and triumphs as a tenor. But Gina is still out of reach; she's taken up with Ierra. Before Lupo realizes the obvious — that he's destined to spend his life with Rosa, not the mercenary Gina — Vincenzo tries to get his hands on Rosa's magical brew, she thwarts him with a "special" vintage and greedy Ierra tries to turn Gina into the next Cecilia Bartoli. Some enchanting Italian sequences sweeten this music-filled confection, but in the end it hits too many false notes to be successful, even on its own modest turns. Dangerfield knows how to goose a gag along, but Davi and Gurewitch lack the throwaway delivery this comedy of incongruity needed to make it sing.

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  • Released: 2002
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Review: Although veteran comedian Rodney Dangerfield looks physically frail, fans should enjoy his antics in this slight romantic comedy inspired by Dangerfield's days as a singing waiter. It opens with a sympathetic bartender, Alphonse (Charles Fleischer), comfor… (more)

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