Coming from a big, immigrant Italian family myself, this movie holds a special place in my heart.
The conflict between the two brothers, Primo and Secondo, and their rival, Ian Holm's Pascal (in an over-the-top performance) mirrored the American immigrant experience: does one stick to their heritage, like Secondo, who serves "traditional" Italian fare to a scant clientele, or jump into the melting pot, like Pascal, who "gives the people what they want" - a big, pedestrian, plate of spaghetti and meatballs?
Tony Shalhoub's Primo ends being caught in the middle of this argument, seeing "selling out" as his ticket out of the financial mess his brother's restaurant has become.
Minnie Driver's character, Phyllis, the quintessential "Joisey Girl" was a complete waste of her talent.
Overall, this was a real hidden gem of a movie!