Scusate se esisto!, that strange couple...
by Camillo de Marco
- Paola Cortellesi and Raoul Bova protagonists in the new comedy by Riccardo Milani, following the success of Welcome Mr. President! - the situation of women, work and de facto couples are at the heart of this film
If you want to be somebody pretend you’re male, probably not gay, and unfortunate you if you happen to be an intelligent woman. That’s the warning message from Riccardo Milani’s new movie, Scusate se esisto! [+see also:
film profile] (lit. Sorry for existing!), released on 20 November with 01 Distribution. Serena Bruno (Paola Cortellesi) is an intelligent woman, for the record. A brain drain landed in London from Anversa degli Abruzzi (a town in Abruzzo with just 400 inhabitants), Serena is a brilliant architect. However, one rainy night she starts crying because she feels homesick when she looks at a colander with little holes in the shape of Italy, and she decides to return home. The situation at home is not very promising, and Serena must adapt to designing funeral mausoleums for rich imbeciles and working as a waitress in a Rome restaurant managed by the handsome Francesco (Raoul Bova). In search of her stolen moped, the architect comes across the Corviale building-neighbourhood, a kilometre-long horizontal skyscraper nine floors high, and decides to bid in the tender for the renovation of this architectural monster. When Francesco reveals to her that he’s gay, Serena realises that in a world dominated by males it’s unlikely that a female architect could win the tender, and so she asks Francesco to take her place.
Returning from the enormous success of Benvenuto Presidente! [+see also:
film profile] Milani explains that "the heart of Sorry for existing! is the belief that there is indeed some good in our country. In Italy there are also people who don’t give up, who fight, who return even though working conditions abroad might be better. I believe in Italy, I’m not one of those people who only see the worst of things”. In fact a real project exists renovate the Corviale and the bid was won by a design group led by a female architect, Guendalina Salimei.
Protagonist Paola Cortellesi, wife of the director with whom the screenplay was written together with Giulia Calenda and Furio Andreotti, was entrusted with the task of maintaining 110 minutes of comedy with comic situations and romantic moments, something that’s not always easy, while Raoul Bova focuses directly on his homosexual character but not without a few overdone clichés. The most exhilarating features are "stolen" from classics like La Cage aux Folles, Being John Malkovich and Full Monty (the garden gnome scene during the work meeting here becomes the aunt from Abruzzo who hovers around with baked pasta), but we’re always smiling. Nevertheless, the movie is divided among social inspirations and major themes like work, women’s emancipation and homosexuality.
Working alongside Cortellesi and Raoul Bova are the talented Ennio Fantastichini, Lunetta Savino, Marco Bocci and Corrado Fortuna.
(Translated from Italian)