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I'm currently studying Italian and in yesterday's class we got to see a movie, an Italian one of course, for the very first time. The choice of my teacher was SCUSA MA TI CHIAMO AMORE, a completely unknown movie for me.
Remember when some years ago filmmaker Quentin Tarantino said that "new Italian cinema is just depressing"? Well, I can't say I'm with Quentin since I don't know much about new Italian cinema (or Italian cinema in general, but hey, at least I recently got the Fernando Di Leo crime collection on Blu-Ray!), but I simply recalled what he said because this movie made me think something like this: "having tons of great Italian films, what was my teacher thinking when she decided to go with this one?" It was Italian class and the whole point of watching a film was just to hear people speaking in Italian, so obviously we could have some truly great and interesting stuff. I remember that when both my sister and my cousin were studying Italian they said to me that a Roberto Benigni film (I think it was IL MOSTRO) was shown at a class. So instead of having some Benigni, we watched this modern romantic film; it might be modern since it's from 2008, but its storyline is just the f****** same thing we all have seen countless times before.
Criticizing a movie for its clichéd story is certainly a cliché itself, but I think it's necessary to point out how predictable SCUSA MA TI CHIAMO AMORE is. You are like 15 minutes into it and you just know each and every damn thing. It's also a cliché to say that this thing of having a tired storyline would really not matter if the movie gives you something else that's just great. As you can tell by my rating, with this there's nothing much that stand out. It tries to be funny, both in a straight and romantic way, but I didn't laugh nor find a memorable romantic side. It's simply ridiculous, with cheap stuff like having the two main characters meeting and getting along after being involved in a traffic collision. Or what about when the girl gets all of the sudden involved in the work issues of the guy (who is 20 years older than her)? It's soap opera stuff.
Also, there's a problem with the minor characters; for instance, when the happy ending of an apparent subplot comes, out of nowhere, to the screen I was just like "who are these characters? And why should I care about them?" For me this is weak writing, and editing too; the film is full of phrases about love (by people like William Shakespeare and Pablo Neruda) and sometimes we have them on the screen out of nowhere as well. In few words: when the only thing that interests you of an Italian movie is that it is spoken in Italian, something is very wrong.
*Watched it on March 24, 2012
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