Diana DeGarmo stars in lesbian mob comedy “Alto”

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No mincing words–Alto is about as cheesy as the damn lasagna it keeps mentioning and just as stereotypically Italian-American. When I read the describer “lesbian mob comedy,” I immediately had my doubts, and they were spot on. If you’re a mob movie aficionado, you’ll find that this one doesn’t deliver on the gore. If instead you’re a comedy buff, well, don’t worry about having to contain your laughter. But (there’s a but!), if you’re a fan of lesbian romance, there are worse films you could watch.

It starts off nicely. One of the first scenes shows two women hooking up in a bakery, kneading more than just bread. So we know we’re going to get some more lady loving eventually. I’m committed.

But what does our protagonist have to do with this? Nothing at first. Frankie (Diana DeGarmo) is an aspiring musician who has settled into her relationship with her long-time boyfriend, Tony. It’s all going swell until she pops open the trunk of her rental car and spots a very dead guy with a hole in his forehead. (Hate when that happens.)

Well, you have to attend the man’s funeral, don’t you? Frankie’s mob culture-obsessed sister Heather certainly thinks so. The two go—well, they try to. Apparently this funeral is so exclusive that you’ve got to be on the list to get in. Fortunately, Nicolette (Natalie Knepp) from the bakery is around, spots them, likes what she sees, and gets them in.

Heather (Melanie Minichino) and Frankie (Diana DeGarmo)8312264_orig

Worst favor ever. Because you know who hangs outside the suspicious funerals of mobsters? The FBI. Show up at one of those things and you’re automatically on their list.

Now personally, I don’t think funerals are appropriate occasions to get your flirt on, but Nicolette’s probably been to so many of them that she can’t pass up the opportunity (her dad’s the new mob don, so this isn’t her first rodeo). She’s picked a sister, and it’s Frankie.

You know when you tell a girl where you usually hang out and suggest that she pop by sometime, but you don’t really mean it? Don’t pull that on Nicolette, because she’ll show up. There she is, front and center at Frankie’s gig.

Nicolette (Natalie Knepp)9204321_orig

After some intense eye fucking, Nicolette greets Frankie post-performance with, “You! So sexy–you’d kill on American Idol!” That might cause a chuckle or two if you know DeGarmo was the runner-up on the third season of American Idol. But, hey, points for flirting with the girl in front of her boyfriend and then having your way with the groupie who flirted with her.

Of course Frankie and Nicolette eventually get in their first smooch. It’s brief, but cute, and then there’s a scene with a harp (just as cute, but no kiss). Ah, and then they really kiss. This I like. There’s your highlight reel!

But Frankie has to have the obligatory freak out scene. She’s not gay! What about Tony? Her dad’s in the mob too? Why won’t the FBI and the mob leave her alone?!

Nicolette, however, is a power lesbian, so don’t believe for a second she’s about to let her girl go without a fight. A fact I’m happy about, because despite all of Alto’s flaws, I believe those two together, and I want them together.

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A lesbian mob comedy with a happy ending? Could it be, or should you just fuhgeddaboudit? Well you’ll have to watch Alto to find out the answer and to expose yourself to equally as awful puns. 

Alto is screening at Frameline in San Francisco on June 23. Check out the movie’s website to find out when it’ll be playing at a film festival near you

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