Anthony Tarsitano’s Misplaced Cat Corona is a rambling, lighthearted comedy that’s often laugh-out-loud humorous, however despite the fact that it’s significantly better than its Blockbuster-era poster or ex-B-list solid would possibly counsel, it isn’t as affecting because it may very well be, given its first rate script and good intentions. Set totally within the scrappy borough of Queens, New York, the movie is warmly dedicated to exploring the lives of relatable, if extremely idiosyncratic, common New Yorkers who aren’t all billionaire playboys or superheroes, or superhero billionaire playboys. As an alternative, the movie follows Ralph Macchio’s earnest sad-sack, Dominic, a considerably fortunately married, childless development employee compelled to spend a positive spring day trying to find a misplaced black cat: Leonard, the cherished pet of Dom’s nagging spouse, Connie (Gina Gershon).
Severely questioning his tendency to kowtow to Connie, and virtually anybody else with a robust character, Dominic nonetheless takes off on Connie’s bike to scour their Corona neighborhood for Leonard. Dominic’s supportive however not terribly useful buddy Ponce, amusingly performed by David Zayas (“Dexter,” The Expendables), tags alongside on his shiny purple scooter to assist Dom navigate an insane afternoon that solely will get began with the 2 friends discovering a bloody wad of money and a severed ear inside a brown paper bag. In true After Hours style, Dominic’s misadventures via the bodegas and back-alleys of Queens—throughout which he runs into or afoul of palookas with names like Sal, Sue and Jimmy Pipes—develop ever extra precarious, escalating to a genuinely shocking scene involving Dominic and a stolen gun.
Adopting the unfastened, multi-tasking construction of lesser Tarantino ensemble knockoffs, Tarsitano’s image introduces a Seinfeld-ian world of outer-borough Joes and girls whose seemingly disparate paths collide with Dominic’s beneath some startling, and a few meh-inducing, circumstances. The bouncy soundtrack and a number of storylines counsel a madcap comedy that may have benefited from tighter modifying and extra rigorous path. Macchio delivers a pure, low-key efficiency however in the long term doesn’t convey the gravitas of what basically turns into a narrative about Dominic’s quest to reclaim (or lastly uncover) his “manhood,” or in additional beneficiant phrases, to look inside for a supply of power and conviction. That Dom considers discovering it within the chilly, metal grip of a gun is meant as a severe wallop that lands extra like a slap on the wrist. It doesn’t assist Macchio’s case that the actor (John D’Leo) taking part in younger Dominic in properly evocative flashbacks has a deeper voice than the erstwhile Karate Child.
Gina Gershon doesn’t precisely disappear into the position of Connie both, so it’s actually as much as the movie’s supporting solid to hold the day. To the credit score of Tarsitano and his casting group, the movie is a primary showcase for the soulful faces, accents and attitudes of native New Yorkers, as mirrored within the metropolis’s superior group of character actors. Not not like a typical episode of the well-known Massive Apple-set sitcom about nothing, a various parade of character specialists roll via to steal the highlight from the celebrities, from display screen and TV vet Jeff Kober, who provides ample tough-guy stress as Sue, a lifelong low-level hood with a hair-trigger mood, to Barbara Rosenblat (“Orange Is the New Black”’s dearly departed “Miss Rosa”) as Connie’s hard-to-please mom. The one-and-only “Luke Duke,” Tom Wopat, delivers maybe the movie’s most powerfully emotional second as down-on-his-luck battle vet Jimmy Pipes.
Most of the time, nevertheless, Tarsitano’s script, whereas flourishing in its comical moments, flounders in its makes an attempt to mine nuggets of emotional depth from Dominic’s faintly rendered midlife disaster. And the seek for Leonard doesn’t play as probably the most compelling through-line for the plot. The makers of “Seinfeld” had been in a position to get away with a half-hour sitcom about nothing, however stretched to function size, the idea collapses proper at its peak, like an overdone soufflé.