|Index||2 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
BREAD, LOVE AND JEALOUSY or "FRISKY" as the American distributor re-titled it upon its initial American release, is a sequel to the tremendously successful BREAD, LOVE AND DREAMS made in 1953. They were the first two of a series of earthy comedies which Gina Lollobrigida got tired of making. She was replaced in PANE AMORE E... (SCANDAL IN SORRENTO) by Sophia Loren. At the time of their release, these amusing country comedies were seen by critics as a frivolous departure from the more serious neo-realist films of the period, but audiences loved them precisely because of their light charm and their escapist qualities. Most film historians say that BREAD, LOVE AND JEALOUSY isn't quite up to the quality of its predecessor, but the fact is that they are cut from the same cloth and seem like two parts of the same film, as pleasing and delightful today as when they came out, even better, given the sweet spice of nostalgia. Borrowing elements of Shakespearean comedy, this film is about the parallel amorous fortunes of two couples, one young, one middle-age. We encountered them both in the first film. "Maresciallo" Antonio Carotenuto (Vittorio De Sica) must resign his position in the village in order to marry the town midwife, an unwed mother. Pietro, the young policeman who is to marry "Bersagliera" or "Frisky" (Lollobrigida) is transferred to another town. Frisky is assigned to the maresciallo who takes her into his house as a servant. Gossip about the two grows. The fiancé returns and breaks off the engagement. The father of the midwife's child appears, proposes marriage, and the parish priest induces the woman to accept. The wrongly maligned Frisky makes peace with her fiancé. Another midwife arrives in town. The maresciallo can lust hopefully once more. The movie could be called "All's Well that Ends Well, Italian Style." There isn't much one can say about a movie as simple and unassuming as this, except that the performers bring it off admirably and command our attention for an hour and a half. No social moral, no essay into the alienation of modern man, no peeks at the filmmaker's navel exist here...only the ingratiating talents of Gina Lollobrigida and Vittorio De Sica under the humane direction of Luigi Comencini.
PANE, AMORE E FANTASIA and PANE, AMORE E GELOSIA, both directed with admirable lightness of touch by Luigi Comencini, are representative of the best comedies produced by the Italian cinema in the 1950's. In fact, after two decades of brilliant works directed by the likes of Dino Risi, Mario Monicelli, Pietro Germi and a few others, the golden period of Italian comedy ends abruptly in the late 1970's with the work of Lina Wertmuller. In the two Comencini films we see a marvelous case of typical "Commedia dell'arte" plot, character development and acting styles brought to life in rural post-war Italy. Sagliena could well be Subiaco, Gina Lollobrigida's birthplace, or any other small town in Abruzzo or Lazio. This is comedy of character at its best and Comencini was inspired in casting both films. Vittorio DeSica seldom attained the variety of tone and the beautifully controlled exuberance he displays here, except for his legendary turn as the lawyer in Alessandro Blasetti's ALTRI TEMPI. Gina Lollobrigida's sylvan beauty is pure magic, and her acting is a lesson in "commedia" playing. She could be a perfect Colombina in any Goldoni play. The other actors - Tina Pica, Marisa Merlini, Memmo Carotenuto, Roberto Risso, Virgilio Riento, Maria Pia Casilio - form an ideal ensemble that lends support to the principal players. Two classics movies to be revisited always.
|External reviews||Plot keywords||Main details|
|Your user reviews||Your vote history|