Lucini's Donna a polished romantic comedy
by Gabriele Barcaro
Who is La donna della mia vita [+see also:
film profile] (“The Woman of My Dreams”) of the title of the new film by Luca Lucini? From the poster, one would say Valentina Lodovini (recently seen in Benvenuti al Sud [+see also:
film profile]), surrounded as she is by male leads Luca Argentero and Alessandro Gassman. Yet it’s probably Alba (Stefania Sandrelli), one of the those Italian mothers so good at conditioning her entire family.
Which consists of her second husband (Giorgio Colangeli, better than ever) and two diametrically opposed sons from her two marriages: an incorrigible, though married, lothario Giorgio (Alessandro Gassman), and the younger, shy, sensitive Leonardo (Luca Argentero). When the film opens, the latter has just come out of the hospital after a suicide attempt – an overdose of his mother’s menopause pills – brought on by a break-up, and thinks he’s found his soul mate (Lodovini), who wants to find a stable relationship after two years of an affair with a married man. Guess who…
“The romantic comedy is one of the most complex genres, it’s a great challenge of delicate balances: writing, nuances, the right cast,” said the director, who in the story by Cristina Comencini that was adapted into a screenplay by Giulia Calenda and Teresa Ciabatti, found the perfect opportunity to “talk about the middle class without moralizing.”
The film confirms Lucini’s assured craftsmanship. Despite the absence of his usual collaborator, screenwriter Fabio Bonifacci, the director continues to make polished films (that look like US productions one could even say, and it’s no coincidence that the film was co-produced and distributed by Universal) that do not feel forced. It also confirms the director’s bond with Argentero, who here undergoes “a transformation, from nerd to Don Juan”, and who starred in Lucini’s two previous films as well.
Lastly, for those who think that Italian cinema is one big family: Gassman plays the son of Sandrelli, who in turn many times played the wife or lover of his father Vittorio.
At the film’s press screening, Chimenz reminded everyone of the protests against the government’s culture policies that have been uniting the entire Italian entertainment industry. “Some films slated to go into production in the first half of 2011 have been postponed indefinitely," he said. "The current crisis and the effects of growing delocalization are felt by young actors coming out of the academies, as they are by everyone in the film industry. We fully agree with the reasons behind the protests, which serve to disprove the cliché that culture is a spendthrift sector that counts for nothing”.
(Translated from Italian)
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