Review: ‘Feast Of The Seven Fishes’, A Christmas Dinner You Don’t Want To Miss

With Last Christmas and now Feast of the Seven Fishes, the holiday movie season is officially upon us! It is a couple of days before Christmas in 1983 and Tony Oliverio (Skyler Gisondo) is in a rut. He’s gotten into art school but immediately decides to decline so he can continue working in his family’s restaurant. On top of that, he’s single for another holiday season. On a bright note, the Oliverio’s traditional Christmas Eve feast – the feast of the seven fishes – is right around the corner so that will be a great, and delicious, celebration. Tony’s cousin Angelo (Andrew Schulz) convinces Tony to come out with him and his girl Sarah (Jessica Darrow). Apparently, Sarah has a friend Beth (Madison Iseman) that Angelo and Sarah want to introduce to Tony and see if the sparks fly. Beth has been dating Prentice (Allen Williamson) a rich and pretentious schmuck from school that her parents absolutely approve of because he can provide the life they want for Beth. Prentice has decided to go on a skiing trip instead of joining Beth for the holidays and that is not something she is willing to forgive. Sarah convinces Beth to come out with her that night and meet Angelo’s cute cousin Tony and put Prentice squarely in the rearview mirror, which she eventually agrees to.

Tony and Beth hit if off and end up having a great night together – except for one stop at the strip club where Tony gets into a fight trying to convince his ex-girlfriend Katie (Addison Timlin) to stay off the pole. While that might be a turnoff to some, Beth found it sweet – she must have the heart of a saint. Tony’s uncle Frankie (Joe Pantoliano) does what Tony doesn’t have the stones to do and invites Beth to the Oliverio’s feast of the seven fishes. Of course Beth accepts the initiation – she just met Tony the night before, so the next logical step is to meet his whole family during date #2. Beth doesn’t realize the night that she just signed up for – the Oliverio family have this feast down to a science and she is in for a night she, or her stomach, won’t soon forget.

Feast of the Seven Fishes has a lot going for it and at the top of the list is the score. The music seems to really drive the film and couldn’t be more enjoyable – it manages to not only capture the holiday spirit, but also be quirky and punchy to match the film’s characters. That is not easy to do, and Feast of the Seven Fishes hits it out of the park. Throughout the film, we keep meeting more and more of the Oliverio family, which is full of fantastic characters. The banter and interactions of Tony’s uncles Frankie and Carmine (Ray Abruzzo) and grandpa Johnny (Paul Ben-Victor) are a blast to watch while Beth’s interactions with Tony’s ultra-religious and old school grandma Nonnie (Lynn Cohen) are hilarious as well as slightly terrifying. Robert Tinnell, who wrote and directed the film as well as the original graphic novel of the same name, interjects the spirit of graphic novels throughout the film – which is a unique and welcomed addition. Feast of the Seven Fishes is a good-hearted and enjoyable holiday movie and if you have 90 minutes to kill, I’d definitely recommend a watch – the fish montage alone is probably worth it.
3.5 out of 5