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Italian for Beginners (2000)
"Italiensk for begyndere" (original title)

7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 10,775 users   Metascore: 77/100
Reviews: 87 user | 94 critic | 28 from Metacritic.com

Several lonely hearts in a semi-provincial suburb of a town in Denmark use a beginner's course in Italian as the platform to meet the romance of their lives.

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Title: Italian for Beginners (2000)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anders W. Berthelsen ...
...
...
Karen
Peter Gantzler ...
Lars Kaalund ...
Sara Indrio Jensen ...
Karen-Lise Mynster ...
Kirsten, the real estate dealer
Rikke Wölck ...
Lise, the nurse
Elsebeth Steentoft ...
Bent Mejding ...
Reverend Wredmann
Lene Tiemroth ...
Karen's Mother
Claus Gerving ...
Klaus Graversen
...
Olympia's Father
Merete Voldstedlund ...
Andreas' mother (scenes deleted)
Henning Jensen ...
Leif (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

A young minister, a widower, is temporarily assigned to a church whose suspended pastor drove parishioners away; he stays at a hotel where he meets Jørgen, who's alone approaching middle age. Jørgen's friend Finn, a temperamental restaurant manager, may be about to be fired. Finn's assistant is Giulia, a lovely young Italian who prays for a husband. Olympia, a clumsy bakery clerk, has an ornery father; Karen, a hairdresser, has a mother who is very ill. The paths of these six characters cross at church, in the restaurant, at the hotel, and at an Italian class at the local adult school. Loneliness, grief, solace, romance, and love may meet 'nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita.' Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

To speak the language of love, first you have to feel it. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

| |

Release Date:

8 December 2000 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Italiano para principiantes  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£48,027 (UK) (3 May 2002)

Gross:

$4,447,186 (USA) (5 July 2002)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| | | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Zentropa Productions have acknowledged plot similarities to Maeve Binchy's novel "Evening Class". Binchy was not credited in the original release as Zentropa had determined they were not in breach of copyright, but after Binchy's representatives approached them they paid compensation and added a credit for her in later releases. See more »

Goofs

At the Christmas service, the congregation use the hymn book to sing "Barn Jesus i en krybbe lå". However, this song was not included in the hymn book of 1953 (which would be the one used in the movie) as it was not considered a 'proper' hymn until 2003, when it was included in the newest version of the hymn book. See more »

Quotes

Olympia's Father: That sounds disgusting.
See more »

Connections

References Dancer in the Dark (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Barn Jesus i en krybbe la
(hymn)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One fine romantic comedy
19 February 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding romantic comedies at the beginning of the decade. A Dogma 95 film, this movie exemplifies the challenges put up by the group of film makers that created Dogma 95 in Copenhagen. DOGMA 95 counters the individual film by the principle of presenting an indisputable set of rules known as THE VOW OF CHASTITY. The rules (10 in all) include principles such as: shooting must be done on location (scenes in Venezia) and on a sound stage used to rehearse Sound of Music--an auditorium where the Italian classes are held. Music should not be used unless it occurs where hte scene is being shot (how refreshing not to have Hollywood scores interrupting the natural sound). Hand-held camera-- this produces a feeling that you are doing the filming yourself. I felt that when Andreas was swimming in the hotel pool. Special lighting is not acceptable -- again the auditorium and the lights. Or the restaurant lighting. The characters in this movie are so real one feels you have met them before. You can read the plot elsewhere if you haven't seen this movie. There are pairings in this movie that show romance at its best -- forgiveness for the foible (Olympia was probably born with fetal alcohol syndrome-- Andreas understands this and near the end when he suggests she sing in the church choir, he suggests they prepare for her falling over into the pews. Giulia's budding love for Jorgen Mortensen is a treat -- little prayers in the kitchen -- and rehearsal for the big moments. This movie even treats impotence with the gentleness and humor and understanding that the best of life can deal. Perhaps most erotic is the scene where Karen washes Hal-Finn's hair in her salon -- ummmm! Not enough can be said about this movie. So to cut it short -- go see it -- watch it several times. A magical experience awaits -- where real people with real foibles find real connection.


24 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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