In her weekly column, Instant Watching, Christie Dean talks about recently produced obscure and independent films that are made available through Netflix’s Instant Watch feature.

Randy and the Mob is a silly and strange and sweet film about personal priorities and reconciliation among family members. The story follows Randy Pearson (Ray McKinnon, The Blind Side), an entrepreneur of multiple failing businesses, who is in trouble with the IRS and is due to repay money lent to him by some local, lower-level mobsters as a result of maxing out his credit options. As the deadline approaches, Tino Armani (Walton Goggins, The Shield), an eccentric mob representative who also happens to be an expert in Italian cooking and clogging, is sent to collect the money and helps Randy’s businesses become profitable along the way. Soon Randy realizes that he needs to go to his family for help too, which involves approaching his estranged gay twin brother Cecil (also Ray McKinnon). It was great to see a cast of very recognizable character-actors shine in lead roles in Randy and the Mob, which Ray McKinnon also wrote and directed.

It occurred to me as I watched this week’s movie that I am not as intentional as I’d like to be in seeking out American films that are based in particular subcultures in the United States, with the exception of genres such as Westerns, or in settings such as crime families. It’s way too easy to watch multiple movies that all contain characters who look and speak similarly and value the same things, throwing in an accent every once in a while to keep things interesting. That’s one of the reasons why I felt refreshed watching Randy and the Mob over the weekend–it’s set in the South, complete with thick enough drawls that I was tempted to turn on the subtitles (if I knew how to do that) and figures of speech a Northerner like myself didn’t quite understand. I enjoyed getting to see this already original story about needing and supporting family from this perspective.