Review: Corro da te
- Depicting “the worst possible Italian”, Riccardo Milani revisits the French comedy Rolling To You, using irony to tackle the theme of disability
An insensitive braggart, a bully and a serial seducer who’s fanatical over the physical form… According to director Riccardo Milani, the man depicted in his latest film Corro da te [+see also:
film profile], which Vision Distribution are distributing in 470 Italian cinemas on 17 March, is “the worst possible Italian man”. A remake of the French comedy Rolling To You [+see also:
film profile] by Franck Dubosc, the new feature film by the author of Like A Cat on a Highway [+see also:
film profile] sees Pierfrancesco Favino stepping into the shoes previously worm by Franck Dubosc, and Miriam Leone, recently highly acclaimed for her portrayal of Eva Kant in Diabolik [+see also:
film profile], playing the part of a radiant and empathic woman who sweeps the rug from under the former’s feet while seated in her wheelchair (played by Alexandra Lamy in France).
What is it that brings these two diametrically opposed characters together? A vile bet. A confirmed fifty-year-old bachelor (though he insists on pointing out that he’s only 49) and the head of a major brand of running shoes who won’t even hear of recruiting paralympic athletes as brand ambassadors, Gianni (Favino) seduces women by changing his name every so often and constantly pretending to be someone else, before bragging about his exploits with his friends at the club. Not even his own mother’s death draws out an iota of humanity from him, quite the opposite. Whilst at the home of the latter, sorting through her things, the young and irrepressible neighbour Alessia (Pilar Fogliati) knocks on the door and when she sees Gianni casually seated in the wheelchair which belonged to his deceased mother, she offers to look after him. Seeing this as a possibility for a new, irresistible conquest, Gianni doesn’t think twice and pretends to be disabled.
But things don’t go entirely as planned; far smarter than him, Alessia has her own plans: to introduce Gianni to her older – and single – sister Chiara (Leone), who’s also confined to a wheelchair on account of an accident. The occasion for this singular blind date is a family lunch in the countryside characterised by Gianni’s misconceptions and bitter disappointment (“You were banking on the young one, but you’ve ended up with the cripple”, cynical grandma Margherita whispers to him at the dinner table, played by the much-missed Piera Degli Esposti in her last film appearance, a part written especially for her). But once he overcomes his initial discomfort (or rather annoyance), Gianni refuses to throw in the towel and decides to go one better: he’ll try to seduce “the cripple”. He makes the bet with his friends.
It’s not hard to see where the story is going: Chiara is a positive, dynamic, interesting woman who plays tennis and the violin, who’s beautiful and who has a smile to make hearts melt. Gianni finds himself bowled away by her bravery and love of life, realising that the only real handicap is in his head. The theme of disability is tackled without rhetoric, pietism or angst over political correctness; the Favino-Leone pairing works, as do the supporting characters, first and foremost Vanessa Scalera playing the secretary Luciana who - unlike the original French film - is a far more self-aware and critical figure when it comes to Gianni and his seedy games. It’s a romantic yet caustic romantic comedy for mainstream audiences, which touches upon themes such as obsession over physical perfection, the fear of difference and self-acceptation with a sense of intelligence and fun.
(Translated from Italian)
Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.