Last American Guido Premieres on the Red Carpet at Loew’s

Tomorrow night, gelled hair and gold chains will rule Jersey City once again as The Last American Guido takes to the red carpet at the Loew’s Landmark Theater. The independent feature film was written and directed by Vito LaBruno, a Jersey City Police Officer and founder of Second & Brunswick Productions.

A lot has changed about Jersey City over the years, and though some fragments remain, the days of young Italian-American men with gelled hair and gold chains cruising the boulevard in souped up Cadillacs is pretty much gone. The Last American Guido is a journey through what life looks like after the 90s for a “guido” and is a friendly trip down memory lane through many familiar spots for those who grew up in the area. The film was shot in the fall of 2012 in several New Jersey cities with scenes being filmed at Losurdo Bros. (aka Tony’s Bakery) in Hoboken and La Festa Italiana in Jersey City.

Inspired by his older brothers, LaBruno said he dreamed up the storyline when imagining what life would be like for a guido living in a world that has passed him by as he struggles to be true to himself. Despite some of the comedic club scenes (including one in which the protagonist has a reality check upon receiving an $800 bill for two bottles of vodka and table service), LaBruno said the film is more than just club life.

“It’s a romantic comedy about being comfortable in your own skin,” he said. “It’s a real New Jersey story in the way we were brought up.”

The filming process wasn’t without a little drama of its own. With almost 75% of the film complete, Superstorm Sandy hit. Production was immediately shut down, several locations were lost, and many of the cast and crew were directly affected by the tragic disaster. Yet after only a week of hiatus, the cast and crew rallied together to complete the film. However, most recently, LaBruno said there has been a bit of backlash from Italian-American organizations who are admonishing him for using the word “guido,” which is viewed as a derogatory slur by some. LaBruno said he has no intention of changing the name of the film and stands by his use of the word.

“I just think that people have a misinterpretation of the word,” he said, adding that the “guidos” he remembers were nothing like the stereotype that has been perpetuated by characters on the reality series Jersey Shore.

Tomorrow’s premiere marks the first time the public has been invited to see the movie. LaBruno held a private screening for family and friends at Clearview Cinema in Hoboken this past August. Viewers on the lookout for local scenery should keep their eyes peeled for the inside of Powerhouse Lounge, Roy’s Motors on Newark & 7th, a few quick shots of Newark Avenue, and a house in Country Village. Those who miss tomorrow’s screening will have to wait until the film hits the film festival circuit.

“We’re expecting a big crowd,” said LaBruno. “I grew up going to the movies at Loew’s so it’s a big deal to have my movie showing there.”

The red carpet premiere takes place on Thursday, October 24 at 8 pm (doors open at 7) at Loew’s Landmark Theater. Tickets are $10. For more information, visit The Last American Guido website.

 

Lana Diaz

is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the Hudson Reporter, Jersey City Magazine, 07030, Palisade Magazine, and other publications. As a Wordsmith, she currently hosts various events around the area. For more information, visit lanarosediaz.com.