American gangsters come to stay with their Scottish cousin after murdering a rival Mafia don.
There's a definite BBC feel about American Cousins. Whether it's the seaside setting, the woolly jumpers or the curmudgeonly-yet-loveable old geezers, there's a sense that this would work better on a small screen stretched over several weeks - more a cup of tea than popcorn movie. The premise has two American gangsters (Nucci and Hedaya swaggering around like refugees from The Sopranos) come to stay with their Scottish cousin (Lepkowski) after murdering a rival Mafia don.
The fish-out-of-water scenario provides the requisite warm 'n' fuzzies, but the occasional flash of violence is at odds with the cuddly tone. It's redeemed by the central love triangle between Lepkowski, Nucci and Shirley Henderson which, though sometimes a little roughly sketched, resolves to a satisfying, heart-warming conclusion.
Confused in tone, but ultimately saved by writer Sergio Casci, who provides some snappy lines and just about keeps the violence palatable with some warm romance and gentle comedy. Russell Hunter is also excellent in his final role.