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

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  10 May 2002 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 11,035 users   Metascore: 77/100
Reviews: 87 user | 96 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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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anders W. Berthelsen ...
...
Ann Eleonora Jørgensen ...
Karen
...
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:

Attendance Optional. Passion Required. 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:

10 May 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Italiano para principiantes  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$52,536 (USA) (18 January 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

Director Lone Scherfig has said that the positive effect of the Dogme 95 rules can be felt instantly in the writing process, specifically in the way you have to use your imagination to make a film work under their limitations. 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 Taxa (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Barn Jesus i en krybbe la
(hymn)
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User Reviews

 
Charm that grows on you
12 April 2003 | by (Portland OR USA) – See all my reviews

I have to admit, after the first few minutes I was wondering if I'd even manage to finish the whole thing. Also, as this was the first Dogme film I'd seen, I was also really questioning the whole concept. The opening scenes seemed amateurish in both filming and acting, with jerky editing and camera movements, and seemingly one-dimensional characters. But it really grew on me as I kept watching. The more the characters revealed themselves, the more sympathetic and complex they became. It actually became quite engrossing as the film progressed. There were just so many moments of geniune warmth and humor. In fact, what really struck me about this film after it was all over was its geniuneness. I haven't seen anything so heartwarming in a long time. 8/10.


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