|Index||2 reviews in total|
'Mariti in affitto' ('Our Italian Husband') is sort of a mess of a
movie. Ilaria Borrelli wrote and directed this bilingual film and
apparently lost track of her story during the making of it. The Italian
language portions are supplemented by English subtitles, but the
English, when spoken, is so distorted by the actors and by the musical
sound track that the words are nearly incomprehensible. What results is
a slapstick comedy acted way over the top to the point of frustration
on the part of the audience.
The action opens somewhere in Italy where Maria Scocozza (Maria Grazia Cucinotta) is eking out a living making sandals to support her two children from her marriage to artist Vincenzo Scocozza (Pierfrancesco Favino) who left for America some years ago to make it big in New York. Maria is courted by older gentlemen who threaten her to the point that she leaves with her two children to fly to New York to re-join her husband. Upon arrival she finds an unfriendly country but no husband and is befriended by Raul (Diego Serrano) who eventually finds her work passing out fliers for an agency called 'Rent a Husband'. She eventually discovers her husband has remarried to TV model Charlene (Brooke Shields) who is extremely pregnant. Outraged but with no place to go, Maria and her two children move in with Charlene and Vincenzo, and as predicted the two women eventually join to plot against the two-timing Vincenzo...etc etc etc.
The acting is raw - Chevy Chase even has a role as a TV writer - and the performances all border on overacting. There is a hint that somewhere in this mélange of ideas there are some solid humanistic points to be made, but everything gets lost in the mess of a production. Not a very good way to spend an evening.
Not a classic, but not a complete bomb either. It was one of those
films that a store discounts to get rid of by selling it on the cheap
rack because it doesn't immediately grab its audience.
The first couple of times I viewed it, I wasn't crazy about the production values...could be better. On the other hand, the actors have their own special charm, especially the two "wives".
The husband, though flawed, shows a heart-breaking humanity, desperation and pain underneath his naughty behavior that's quite appealing on its own.
Maria, the Italian wife, is so smart and resourceful, its hard not to like her. Charlene, Brooke Shields' character, has this fragility under a veneer of toughness, that soon lets you know she's a woman who's been hurt. Together both women, overcome their pain and grow to try again that is beautiful to see.
This film has a charm not readily apparent, but grows on you. Watch a couple of times and learn to appreciate.
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