Zalone opts for political incorrectness in Che bella giornata
by Gabriele Barcaro
Strong off the success his debut feature Cado dalle nubi [+see also:
film profile], which garnered over €14m at the box office, comedian Checco Zalone (real name Luca Medici) returns to cinemas with the first Italian title of the new year, Che bella giornata [+see also:
film profile] (“What a Beautiful Day”, co-written with director Gennaro Nunziante.
A popular TV comic, with numerous hits on Youtube, Zalone updates the southern redneck in Milan that made Diego Abatantuono famous. Zalone here plays an aspiring Carabiniere who upon seeing his dream of wearing a uniform go up in smoke, and thanks to some connections, gets posted to the security detail of the Milan archdiocese (“led” by Cardinal Tullio Solenghi).
His duties are simple: to watch over the Madonnina on the highest spire of the Duomo, a potential target of terrorist attacks. Such as the one being organized by the beautiful, young Farah (Nabiha Akkari), who doesn’t have to try hard to seduce this modern-day Candide with her sweetness.
The (mostly verbal) comedy is pretty much the same as in the first film, but there’s more to the double entendres and puns (which also make up the original songs written by Zalone). It may not quite be satire, but the fact remains that Zalone’s impertinent humour is unique in Italy today. Rather than opt for niceties or triviality, he instead chooses the path of an rare political incorrectness.
No one should ever take themselves too seriously is the point. “We don’t want to moralize to anyone – also because in Italy it’s hard to moralize!” jokes Nunziante, who in the film spares no punches at southern family values. “We Italians are the butt of the jokes, certainly not Arabs.”
“Lines such as ‘You too come from Islam’ belie our ignorance, our clichés,” adds Zalone when asked about possible reactions from the Islamic community. Though perhaps it may be the army that is most offended in the end. In the film the main character’s father (Rocco Papaleo) is a soldier who goes to Iraq for the highest of ideals – to pay his mortgage.
Produced by Pietro Valsecchi for his company Taodue Film, Che bella giornata was released by Medusa Film on January 5 on approximately 850 screens, the highest number in the history of Italian distribution.
(Translated from Italian)
Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.