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heartbreakers and broken hearts: dumpers and dumpees
First of all, it must be realized that this movie has an unusual structure: at 48 minutes into the film, we see Monica Bellucci's beautiful hand appear on the shower door before she enters and gets really STEAMING wet. This is her first appearance in the film. This stunning sequence is really where the plot's timeline begins; run the movie to the end, then start it again at the beginning, and you will have the "correct" temporal storyline. The amorous tussle at the beginning of the film is not Pierfrancesco and Monica, but Pierfrancesco and Kseniya Rappoport (a real dish also). We don't see Monica Bellucci until the movie is half over, but she quickly makes her tardy appearance worth the wait. But the relationship between Pierfrancesco and Monica (In which, if you can believe it, scruffy sad-sack Pierfrancesco cruelly dumps a gorgeous Monica), actually occurs before the relationship between Pierfrancesco and Kseniya, in which Pier becomes the heartbroken dumpee. Or, Another way to say this is that the 2nd half of the movie, after Monica's hand appears on the shower door, is a big flashback. Pierfrancesco dumps Monica before he gets dumped by Kseniya. He had it coming! Am I going to feel sorry for him? After dumping Monica Bellucci? No way! Suffer, you pitiful Gloomy Gus! What goes around comes around! Gee whiz--I sure hope poor Monica is able to find someone else who will love her . . .
There is a lot to like about this film. The cinematography is spectacular. The prevailing mood is blue, and we get lots of bluish scenes, in which bright spots of color stand out in contrast. Many of the scenes are dark and sepia-toned, also befitting the mood, and chiaroscuro is often used to great effect. The outdoor scenes in lake country are quite beautiful. Pierfrancesco's pharmacist boss is a very strong character--an actual wise woman. When she speaks, I listen. The subplot involving Pier's gay brother (also a dumpee) is handled well, and their parents come alive as real people. This film could be really depressing, but it's not--and this is because the artistry of the production can only make us smile. And the film has a nice moral: "Dump not, so that ye be not dumped." Director Maria Sole Tognazzi is to be commended!
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