Office Christmas Party
Another reminder that allowing your cast to madly improvise instead of actually providing a coherent script with a scintilla of inherent logic often leads to…
"Cookie" brings with it a strange sense of deja vu, as if we'd seen this film on some earlier occasion, maybe when we weren't quite paying attention. It's the kind of pleasant, sometimes funny, fairly entertaining film that you can never quite remember very well, because even the filmmakers themselves haven't seen it very clearly.
The story stars Peter Falk as Dino Capisco, a middle-level mobster who is just winding up 13 years in prison. He has a daughter named Cookie, played by Emily Lloyd, whose mother (Dianne Wiest) has been his mistress for years. He also has a wife, Bunny (Brenda Vaccaro), who is not supposed to know about the mistress or the daughter.
Cookie is an unconventional misfit of a teenager, whose manners annoy her father. But when he gets out of prison he wants to do the right thing by her, and so, after a couple of other bright ideas don't pan out, he hires her as his chauffeur. Eavesdropping on everything, she quickly discovers that her father has been swindled by his old partner in crime (Michael V. Gazzo) and is in danger of getting killed if he complains too much.
Know these facts, and the movie holds few surprises. It's the fourth recent movie about Italian-American family life and the Mafia, and the least successful. After the rich details in "Married to the Mob," "Wise Guys" and "Spike of Bensonhurst," this one has the fewest surprises. It's all plot and behavior, and short on juice.