Making the Grades
CORKY ROMANO (CHRIS KATTAN) IS THE bumbling black sheep among hard-nosed gangster relations. But his veterinary aspirations keep him well outside the family business of gambling and racketeering until the government collects a pile of incriminating evidence against his ailing, mafia boss father, Pops Romano (Peter Falk). Reluctantly, Corky's older brothers (Peter Berg, Chris Penn) drag him in to pose as an FBI agent and recover the data before dad ends up in the slammer for life.
With a wiretap taped to his thigh, Corky spends a good deal of his time leaning over to talk to his pelvic region, an ungainly maneuver that makes him stand out in the serious and conservative world of dark-suited federal agents. Given an outlandish resume by a backroom computer hacker, this skittish federal infiltrator soon finds himself stationed on the front lines of a criminal drug war with little time to access the evidence room or pursue his alluring, cool-headed fellow agent (Vinessa Shaw). While bungling one attempt after another to steal the condemning affidavit, Corky manages to disarm some unlucky thugs and close in on the trail of the FBI's most wanted criminal.
The portrayal of illegal drug dealing and weapon use may not be the only objection for parents, in this sexuality abundant film. While actual depictions are kept at a minimum, there are plenty of verbal insinuations that include derogatory sexual terms and the frequent repitition of a business name that carries a sexual connotation. In addition to the numerous language concerns, one character's name is pronounced to sound like a mild profanity. Attempts to convey humor have characters engaging in bathroom banter and some flatulent antics.
Setting aside their differences, Corky and his brothers (one homosexual and the other illiterate) collaborate in an effort to keep dad out of jail. Yet any positive messages about "blood being thicker than water" are doused as the threesome becomes "thick as thieves." With so many misdemeanors, families may want to keep a leash on this softhearted animal lover who ends up on the wrong side of the law--with an FBI badge.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Corky Romano.
Pops Romano’s lawyer states that his client is only guilty of having a vowel at the end of his name. In this case Pops is guilty of illegal activities, but what did the lawyer mean by his comment? Are people sometimes judged solely on their name, looks or ethnic background? Have you seen evidence of that in the media, or your own community?
Corky’s mother was considered the “glue that held the family together” before she died. Does your family have someone who holds the family together or does everyone participate? Why do you think Corky’s father sent him away to school after his mother died?