Manny Singer (Ray Liotta) is a struggling songwriter for a company that makes television commercials, who also has a loving wife and a daughter, Molly (Tina Majorino). When his wife dies, Manny's whole life falls apart, his daughter stops speaking, and he develops a creative block on his jingle-writing skills that threatens to get him fired. To solve one of these problems, he starts looking for a nanny for Molly, reluctantly settling on Corrina Washington (Whoopi Goldberg), a woman who has recently moved into town to stay with her sister, and who also happens to be black. Though far from the most efficient housekeeper in the town, Corrina clicks instantly with Molly, who eventually starts to speak again. Manny also takes a shine to Corrina, and a friendship soon forms between the two widows, but they can't seem to agree on what is best for Molly.
As easy as it may be to classify 'Corrina, Corrina' as a fifties-set drama, I'm inclined to resist this temptation, for two main reasons. Firstly, aside from the underlying comments about race, the fifties setting is used only as a backdrop, with the focus on a very heartfelt dramedy, which leads me to my second point. 'Corrina, Corrina' is certainly moving, and there are times when you may feel the need to reach for a box of tissues. But it's also quite hilarious as well, and writer/director Jessie Nelson finds a fine balance between the dramatic and comedic beats to make a remarkable motion picture. Liotta, Goldberg and Majorino give wonderful performances, and these really do feel like real characters. A real winner.
~ 8/10 ~