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Filmed mostly in Italy, "Ciao America" is the story of Lorenzo Primavera an unsettled, third generation Italian American whose search for his place in the world leads him back to the land of his ancestors. In the small town of Ferrara, Italy, Lorenzo finds work coaching American-style football in the fledgling Italian Football League. It's a league where everyone can kick but no one can catch. While coaching, Lorenzo falls in love with Paola Angelini, a headstrong, young music student who forces him to face the same decision as his immigrant grandfather some seventy years earlier. Written by
Ciao America is a touchingly sweet story that makes one yearn to pack their bags and head to Italy, much like Lorenzo does.
Through excellent casting of international newcomers and screen veterans, brothers Frank and Joe Ciota have created the perfect 'look' and feel of modern day Italy. Giulio Petromarchi's cinematography of the Northern Italian landscape lends itself to the beautiful language and people of Italy.
Director Frank Ciota does a great job of balancing both the comedy and love-story aspects of the film through interesting and varied characters. Once cannot keep their eyes off lovely Paola (Violante Placido, daughter of Simonetta Steffanelli -- Apollonia of Godfather fame) and her own attempts to show her feelings to Lorenzo. Also, the members of The Aquile of Ferrara are unforgetable -- Bongo, Guio, Giova -- and uniquely different. You might think that all young Italian men are the same, yet writer Joe Ciota is able to turn the varying characteristics of young Italy into three seperate people. I only wish they were real because they'd be a blast to going drinking with!
Though Ciao America might be riding on the coat-tails of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, this film avoids the sitcom-feel and outrageousness and puts in their place an authentic and touching picture for anyone who has ever had to decide between realizing their dreams, purpose, and future.
You will leave the theater with a smile on your face, and the desire to call your travel agent!
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