A ChucksConnection Film Review


Skyler Gisondo wears optical white high top Converse “Chuck Taylor” All Stars in the film.

Feast of the Seven Fishes

by Marcus Angulo

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Small-town things include walking down the street and having your cousin talki to you from his car.


Every family has their own special Christmas traditions. Whether it's the decorations you put up, the places you celebrate, which night you gather, or what food you cook, Christmas is special for everyone. For many Italian-Americans, Christmas means the Feast of the Seven Fishes, an Italian-American celebration of Christmas with a grand meal of various seafood dishes. The origin of it being seven fishes differs depending on who you ask (it may come from the seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church, or the seven hills of Rome, or something else entirely), and it may be more than seven depending on who’s house you’re at. However, what is always present is love, family, and food. What better setting is there for a Christmas rom-com than that? Feast of the Seven Fishes is a 2018 American rom-com written and directed by Robert Tinnell. It stars Skyler Gisondo, Madison Iseman, Jessica Darrow, Andrew Schultz, Addison Timlin, Josh Helman, Joe Pantoliano, Paul Ben-Victor, and Ray Abruzzo. It was recently added to Netflix in time for the holidays.


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A good old-fashioned meet-cute.

The film takes us back to 1983 in a rust-belt town on the banks of the Monongahela River, somewhere near Pittsburgh. Tony Olivario (Gisondo) is a nice, working-class, Italian-American Catholic boy who has always lived in this small town. He works at the family grocery store started by his Grandpa Johnny (Ben-Victor) and now run by his parents. Tony goes to a community college's business program as his family expects him eventually to run the store, but his heart and talent are in art. He paints whenever he gets the chance and recently got accepted to art school. Two days before Christmas, his cousin Angelo (Schultz) invites him for a night out, and thinking that it might ease his mind, Tony reluctantly agrees.


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That’s the walk of a man in way over his head.


Beth (Iseman) is an affluent, Ivy League, Protestant girl who is back in town after breaking up with her college boyfriend who chose skiing with his boys over accompanying her. She meets up with her friend Sarah (Darrow) who is dating Angelo and wants to introduce her to Tony. Beth agrees to come out with them, and she is immediately drawn to the kind, soft-spoken Tony. They spend the night getting closer and learning that they just may be right for each other. Meanwhile, Tony’s family prepares for the titular Feast of the Seven Fishes. His Grandpa Johnny hosts the annual gathering at his home and he prepares a lot of the food, while his uncles Frankie (Pantoliano) and Carmine (Abruzzo) “help” in their own way. As the Feast draws ever closer, Tony’s newfound spark will meet his boisterous family and he fears that she may not stick around after that.

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Tony chases after Beth in his white chucks.

This film feels like a warm hug on a cold winter night. It is comforting, heartfelt, and truly everything you want and need in a Christmas rom-com. Skyler Gisondo and Madison Iseman have incredible chemistry and they do a great job making you believe that an Ivy League student would fall for a small-town grocery boy in one night. Gisondo is incredibly earnest in his performance as he just feels like such a real, decent dude. Iseman is naturally warm and genuine, and she perfectly captures that “girl-next-door that’s home for the holidays” aura. The supporting cast is full of scene stealers, none more so than Joe Pantoliano and Paul Ben-Victor. The dialogue also feels real and makes the film feel like we’re actually just joining this family for Christmas. Overall, this is a charming and comforting movie to put on this holiday season and it may just become part of your Christmas tradition.

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Tony dreams of something bigger than his family’s grocery store.

Best Chucks Scene

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Closure is a difficult thing to find when a relationship ends.


The best chucks scene in the movie is actually the end scene. Tony wears these worn-out white chucks throughout the whole movie, but at the end when he wakes up on Christmas morning, he is greeted by his ex Katie (Timlin). She has been trying to win him back for months now, but he just feels like they didn’t have much in common and that they both needed someone else. She finally accepts this at the end and visits Tony to return him his letterman's jacket that she’s had. They finally have some closure and hope to one day become friends. Tony then takes out the trash, and when he turns around, he sees Beth has returned after the ugly ending of the night before. She playfully asks how Italians are at breakfast before attempting to apologize for what happened. Tony interrupts her though and gives her the kiss he was unable to give her the night before. They kiss as Grandpa Johnny captures it on film so they’ll always have this moment. It’s a nice wrap-up for the film and brings Tony’s journey full circle as his new life begins with new love and his old chucks.

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Tony wears his well worn optical white high top chucks throughout the film.

Feast of the Seven Fishes. (2019) Skyler Gisondo, Paul Ben-Victor, Jean Zarzour, Andrew Schulz, Lynn Cohen, Lisa Velten Smith, Madison Iseman
Written and directed by Robert Tinnell. Categories: Romance, Comedy.
ChucksConnection Rating: Three Chuckss rating MPAA Rating: NR


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