Poli opposti: A romantic comedy from another time
by Vittoria Scarpa
- Luca Argentero and Sarah Felberbaum play the leads in Max Croci’s feature debut, produced by Rodeo Drive; other films being released include Life, The Program and Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed
At a time when people are meeting each other through mobile-phone apps and relationships are consummated via WhatsApp, the almost 50-year-old first-time director Max Croci is bringing a sophisticated romantic comedy from another time to the silver screen, a movie in which the main characters court each other, enjoy candlelit dinners, dance in the moonlight and kiss in the rain. Before all this, however, Stefano and Claudia, the main characters in Poli opposti [+see also:
film profile] (lit. “Poles Apart”, in theatres from today), clearly despise each other. Stefano (Luca Argentero) is a couples’ therapist, while Claudia (Sarah Felberbaum) is a divorce lawyer: she splits couples up, while he tries to keep them together. Their offices are directly opposite each other, on the same landing. Initially, they are at war, but it doesn’t take long for the laws of attraction between polar opposites to win the day. “I grew up with sophisticated American comedy; for me, this film is a dream come true,” states Croci. “It is no coincidence that there are a lot of quotes in Poli opposti – above all from Hawks and Cukor, but also the Universal comedies from the 1960s.”
Argentero is like a reborn Cary Grant, an elegant and mild-mannered man, while Felberbaum is an emancipated woman who is both austere and refined. They are surrounded by a whole host of characters: Stefano’s ex-wife (Anna Safroncik), who is beautiful and verbose; the lumbering ex-father-in-law (Tommaso Ragno), a renowned psychologist and narcissist; Claudia’s sweet but much-bullied son (Riccardo Russo); Claudia’s brother (Giampaolo Morelli), a compulsive liar; and his wife (Elena Di Cioccio), who has resigned herself to betrayal. All of this comes complete with a screenplay with a very classical structure (eight people contributed to writing it) and set against the backdrop of a picture-perfect Rome: “I took a romantic story and transposed it to the present day by depicting a Rome that is a bit colourful, just like they used to do in the US productions that they shot in the capital,” explains the director. “The main thing is to never forget about the romantic side of life.” Produced by Rodeo Drive together with Rai Cinema, Poli opposti, the only new Italian release this week, will be in 280 theatres from today onwards, courtesy of 01.
On the other hand, there are four non-Italian European releases today, including two British ones: The Program [+see also:
interview: Stephen Frears
film profile] by Stephen Frears is being distributed today by Videa in 140 cinemas, preceded by the injunction from the lawyers of Michele Ferrari (who is played on screen by Guillaume Canet): “Doctor Ferrari has never administered erythropoietin to Lance Armstrong,” his legal team made clear yesterday; another biographical film, Life [+see also:
film profile] by Anton Corbijn, focusing on the meeting between a photographer from the Magnum agency, Dennis Stock, and the budding James Dean, a few months before his death, is being brought out by BiM across 80 screens. And finally, two years after its premiere at San Sebastián, Italy will also be able to see the Spanish title Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed [+see also:
film profile] by David Trueba: its distribution is entrusted to Exit Media. Lastly, CINEMA is bringing out the Franco-Moroccan movie Much Loved [+see also:
film profile] by Nabil Ayouch, which was presented at the most recent Cannes Film Festival and was banned by the Moroccan authorities. There are also four new US releases: Warner is distributing Hotel Transylvania 2 in 550 theatres and Black Mass in 320 cinemas, while Bound to Vengeance is hitting 80 screens, courtesy of Notorious, and the moving documentary on Janis Joplin, Janis: Little Girl Blue by Amy Berg, is in 23 theatres thanks to I Wonder.
(Translated from Italian)
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