Lisa doesn’t really want to divorce Bill, she just wants to be happy like they’re supposed to be. But aren’t.
And her family? These Giordanos are a whole ‘nother purgatory. Lisa’s still refereeing her combative parents, parenting her messed up brothers, stuck between married and not... and wondering if she’ll ever find love.
How can she be grown if nothing’s changed since she was a kid?!
Lisa’s soon-to-be ex-husband is still the Yang to her Yin, but no longer her perfect counterpart. Twenty-five years in, the contrasts that drew them together have driven them crazy — and apart.
Like Lisa, Bill’s a jumble of contradictions: a successful attorney who hates his job, a good husband who can’t manage marriage, a magnetic man seeking satisfaction... but finding only fault.
And the Giordanos are no help. Bill learned the hard way: you can take the girl out of her family, but you can’t take that family out of this girl.
Despite everything — all the mayhem, madness, and mistakes — Lisa and Bill still love each other. Fiercely. Sofrom opposite corners of the ring, they keep trying to meet in the middle… But damned if their timing isn’t always juuustoff.
Lisa’s parents, ELLA and ALDO Giordano, were a classic love story when they met 58 years ago. Their marriage? That’s another story. Aldo cheated, Ella nagged, but they’ve made it into their eighties together... in a “can’t live with ‘em, don’t wanna die alone” way.
These post-WWII immigrants (he from Italy, she from Germany), are still very old school, despite Lisa’s best efforts — and her totally opposite world view. This tense family dynamic can be funny... in a “can’t live with ‘em, can’t really kill ‘em” way.
TANO Giordano (55) is a textbook case of “oldest child syndrome.”
Of course he loves little sister Lisa, even if she won’t see things his way (and calls him out on his B.S.) He’s the reliable, conservative, conscientious one — at least in their parents’ eyes. Since he tells them just a version of his life in Florida, it’s an easy image to live up to…
Until now. This Christmas, he’s bringing girlfriend NISHA Desai (44) to a family holiday for the first time — after sixteen years together.
Delhi-born, London-bred, long-divorced, Nisha’s been Tano’s
significant-other (and nothing more!) for too long. So when she learns he hasn’t told his folks he’s bringing her, she worries about being an awkward surprise. And wonders if they’re the only ones being duped.
At the airport en route to L.A., they run into Tano’s ex-girlfriend SARAH — who left him sixteen years ago when she caught him cheating. With Nisha. Oh, and Sarah has a Daughter... who’s fifteen... and looks just like Tano’s mother! He grows obsessed with the question: is the ever-dutiful son actually an M.I.A. father?
Then Nisha has an awkward surprise of her own.
MARCO Giordano (40) may be the youngest, but don’t call him
“the baby” of the family!
While eldest brother Tano is defined by what he withholds, and
Lisa tries to be all-things-to-all-sides, competitive Marco is all about out-put, he’s all action. Not just striving to catch up to his siblings, but to leave them in his dust. And he’s hosting Christmas.
As a renowned L.A. chef with his own A-list restaurant, a great house in Venice, and the perfect wife and kids, Marco claims success. Even his love-at-first-sight story about meeting his wife at USC is a winner.
MANUELA Abello-Giordano (38) has family in Cartagena, but her loving strength has made her the very heart of the Giordano clan. They all know Marco shares his father’s drive, his lust for life — and his temper. Only Lisa and Manuela know he’s a grown man scared of disappointing his parents. But only Manuela knows how deeply affected Marco was by the loss of Dino, his older-by-two-years brother.
Oh, Dino’s not dead. (Things are never that simple.) No, Dino left the family. And only one person knows why...
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