Film / Fatso

Fatso is a 1980 dramedy movie, written, produced, and directed by Anne Bancroft.

The movie stars Dom De Luise as Dominick DiNapoli, a middle-aged bachelor whose love for food could shorten his life, a fear that is faced by Dom and his family, after the family's favorite cousin dies at the young age of 39, from his own obesity. While Dom does try to change his ways, he continues to fall off the wagon, to which even his sister Antoinette (played by Bancroft) exclaims, "The more you try to help him, the worse he gets!" Dom's life is changed, however, when Lydia (Candice Azzara) enters; the two fall in love with each other, though Dom's insecurities about himself trouble him.

This film provides examples of:

  • Acid Reflux Nightmare: Subverted when Dom can't sleep, and nothing but food-related commercials on television cause him to go berserk.
  • Ambiguously Jewish: Even though most of the characters are depicted as Roman Catholic, a number of them are played by Jewish actors (Anne Bancroft, Candice Azzara, et al.)... and it really shows.
  • Amusing Injury: Happens off camera, when Lydia's brother accidentally chops his finger off, and it takes the paramedics fifteen minutes to find it, all the while he falls into a coma.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Dom isn't aware at first that Lydia returns his feelings of love for her.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Dom being deprived of food.
    • Dom's obsession with food drives his siblings crazy.
    • GET. THE. HONEY!!!!
  • Big Applesauce
  • Big Eater: Not only does Dom personify this trope, it's his problem, and basically the whole plot point of the movie.
    • And the support group "Chubby Checkers" aren't much help, either.
  • Comfort Food: And how. Food, in a sense, is like a security blanket for Dom.
  • Crazy Consumption:
    • When Dom and the Chubby Checkers end up having a late night food party. Just to list off some of their menu: while on the phone, Dom orders a gallon of butter pecan ice cream, as well as a gallon of rocky road, a dozen jelly doughnuts, a dozen consisting of both jelly and custard doughnuts, some chocolate-covered graham crackers; meanwhile, Sonny also ate frozen (yes, frozen) leftover lasanga and an entire box of all bran cereal, Dom eats an entire batch of spaghetti, and Oscar at one point accidentally bites his own hand, thinking it was halavah. The next morning, Junior also points out that Dom, Sonny, and Oscar also consumed five jars of Antionette's pineapple-apricot jelly, two boxes of saltine crackers, and a jar of honey.
    • Upset over Lydia going missing, Dom eats the entire order of Chinese food he picked up for his family for poker night, which included: four orders of spare ribs, four orders of fried duck, four orders of pork lo-mein, four orders of lobster with black bean sauce, six orders of almond chicken, and two dozen almond cookies.
  • Death by Gluttony: Lampshaded with Cousin Sal.
  • Dysfunctional Family: Dom and his little brother Frankie live on the top floor of a brownstone house, while their older sister Antoinette lives on the bottom floor, with her husband, and two kids... and they have a lot of relatives.
  • Food Porn: Lampshaded with Dom and the Chubby Checkers, as talking and reminiscing about their old favorite edible treats is enough to arouse them.
  • Freudian Excuse: We have a beauty in this movie. The movie starts off in flashback, from Dom as a baby, through his childhood, into his adulthood, as we see whenever some thing had upset him, his mother's first reaction is to give him some thing to eat to comfort him. It's this kind of habit that ruined him as an adult, even at one point, in a fit of self-loathing, he blames his mother's excessive feeding him as a boy for his uncontrolable appetite. Shortly thereafter, however, he does realize that she did it out of love... and it makes even more sense when we learn at one point in the movie that aside from himself, Antoinette, and Frankie, their mother lost a few other children at very young ages; so when one thinks about it, his mother was simply trying to take care of him as best she could.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • Practically the first thing we see in this movie is Baby Dom waking his mother up in the middle of the night, which she then proceeds to start breastfeeding.
    • During Dom's appointment with the diet doctor, his entire bare backside is exposed as he walks down a corridor because his paper gown doesn't fit. Another patient has the same problem, though however, we don't anything from her.
  • I Am Big Boned: Dom, when Lydia asks him about not eating cookies:
    Dom: I shouldn't have that because I'm...umm...I'm "stocky." Y;know; "large." I'm "big." Y'know...
  • Gratuitous Italian: Considering that practically every single character in this movie is an Italian-American, and the movie itself is set in Brooklyn.
  • Long List: The seemingly never-ending "Do Not Eat" list the diet doctor gives Dom... so long, it drives him to tears.
    Nurse: Do not drink any alcoholic beverages. Do not drink soda pop. Do not drink ades or punches. Do not eat butter, margarine, oil, lard, or fat of any kind. Do not eat fried foods. Do not eat bread. Do not eat bananas, grapes, watermelon, or any fruits other than grapefruit of cantalope. Do not eat canned fruit. Do not eat dried fruit. Do not eat noodles, spaghetti, or macaroni of any kind. Do not pizza. Do not popcorn, potato chips, or pretzels. Do not eat puddings or custards. Do not eat ice cream, frozen custard, or frozen yogurt. Do not eat cookies, pies, cakes, pancakes, waffles, or any baked goods. Do not eat chocolate, caramel, fudge, nougat, or nuts. Do not eat syrup...
  • Negative Continuity: The timeline of the movie of which this movie is rather inconsistent. For example, Antoinette mentions her son, Anthony's birthday is 5-22, and early in the movie we have a scene where the family prepares for Anthony's birthday party, only to find that Dom has already eaten a slice of the birthday cake. Much later in the movie, when Dom takes Lydia to the St. Anthony church bazaar, the banner reads the dates as being April 27 - May 5.
  • Swallow the Key: Inverted. Junior locks up all of the cabinets and the fridge in the kitchen to help keep Dom from raiding them, however later, when he and his Chubby Checkers go berserk from hunger, Junior pops the keys into his mouth, though he doesn't swallow them. After Sonny breaks the cabinet doors off their hinges, Junior's jaw drops from shock, so Dom smacks the back of his head, shooting the keys out of his mouth.
  • Trademark Favorite Food:
    • Dom loves bread.
    • Lydia is fond of the Chinese sausage and narcissus bulbs at the local Chinese restaurant.
    • Cousin Sal apparently loved eggplant parmesean, and corn (including cold corn the next day).
  • Tuckerization: The family name for the DiNapoli's comes from Anne Bancroft's mother's maiden name.