'R Xmas ★★ 2001
Brancato and de Matteo star as the unnamed husband and wife whose idyllic Manhattan days disguise their shady heroin dealings by night in the Bronx. It's Christmas time and everything is just swell for the mom and pop drug dealers until they attempt to illegally obtain a hardtofind toy for their daughter (Valens), which ends in dad getting kidnapped by a thug (IceT) who wants a huge ransom and asks that they refrain from dealing drugs in the future. They're then left to decide between their tarnished American Dream and going straight and being poor. Some racial issues are explored (she's Puerto Rican, he's Dominican), as well as the obvious moral and financial issues. De Matteo makes her character complex and eminently watchable through somewhat predictable and tired material. 83m/C VHS, DVD . US FR Lillo Brancato, Drea De Matteo, IceT, Victor Argo, Lisa Valens; D: Abel Ferrara; W: Abel Ferrara, Scott Pardo; C: Ken Kelsch.