What happens when an openly gay man decides to run for mayor in a super conservative town in North Eastern Italy, using his homosexuality as his secret weapon? What would happen if during ...
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What happens when an openly gay man decides to run for mayor in a super conservative town in North Eastern Italy, using his homosexuality as his secret weapon? What would happen if during the electoral campaign, our hero falls in love with his right hand man who happens to be a - woman? What will the voters say, the political opponents, his official companion? And what..in the end will his heart say? Written by
Maybe not quite the "Brokeback Mountain" of gay romantic comedies...but.....
.....this one is SO close (and I'll likely be taken off Your List for making this comparison). It's an Italian production but, Hey....the US certainly doesn't have much to offer in this particular genre.
(( WARNING.....WARNING...Will Robinson (oops, sorry about that): The ONLY way I know that you Gay, fun-loving types out there are going to be able to view a purchased copy of this Region 2 DVD is if you already have....or obtain an All-Regions player** / Players made for US produced DVDS are programmed to play Region 1 discs, only ))
NOTE: Since I pretty much know there is going to be a "particular type" among the readers discovering this review, let me just say the following to them up front. "Don't get your briefs in a twist, all you "R-G-M-C" (Rigid-Gay-Male-Chauvinist) guys out there." And why saith I this? Because there is a Woman DEEPLY involved in this film....and she ain't no Fag-Hag. Oh, no....she's a Gorgeous Specimen. SO, Folks....with all this introduction now out of the way, here goes:
This gorgeous guy....this hunky Main Man (Luca Argentero as "Piero") REALLY throws himself into the role of a Gay aspiring politico (running for town mayor, don't you know). He's emotionally up...emotionally down....he's funny...he's sad....and, yes, sometimes frantic. Yet, in the end he will have wound up being our "Mr. Faithful". He holds nothing back....there are streaks of brilliance.
Then there is Piero's "Partner in Love and Life"....this lovable guy named "Remo" (Filippo Nigro, better than he ever was when playing one of our own in 2001's "The Ignorant Fairies"). Remo is a role which provides the critically needed balance to Argentero's often frenetic (but always loving) Piero. Oh, by the way, when you think things might be "starting to go South" for the guy....do NOT begin feeling sorry for Remo. Because, in the end, we will realize that it is Filippo's Powerhouse performance which has become the Glue holding the 3 sides of this Triangle together. What a Guy!
OH, BOY...OH, BOY....and now is where the tricky part comes in. Despite possible concern I may have (Ha!) for all you "R-G-M-C's" (see above), there's no way I could skip over discussion of the 3rd Spoke of this film's "Wheel". If there is anything phenomenal (and there is) about the acting chops of the two guys just mentioned, there can be nothing less phenomenal about this SuperHot lady---the one giving this story a huge spin on its rolling path through Love...Laughs....Up-times...Down-times....and on to a Happy Resolution. Though new to me, Italian Star, Claudia Gerini (as "Adele") has just become the new love of my life (my No. 1 just moved to No. 2). Wow! This blonde bombshell is terrific.....you just gotta discover that for yourself.
A Great supporting cast made up of politicians...electioneering helpers...family. And they are all First-rate (and funny). One, in particular, is a Standout: Rinaldo Rocco as Samuele....a "light in the heels" little fellow who will grab your heart. Psst....just for the fun of it, watch closely in the background of several shots. There you'll often see the sweetly kooky Samuele...with his Straight (but then is he) Tagalong counterpart, always at his side. Methinks our Sammy is conducting a bit of "Conversion Therapy" in and between these scenes. (Can IT really rub off?)
ALMOST FINALLY -- And closing out on a light note, here are some things you may never have discovered....but which this film will teach you:
And did any of you real, or aspiring, politicos out there know that a Gay bashing's broken leg and cracked jaw can get you ahead in the polls a whole 4 Points? (Leave it to the Italians to tell us how to better succeed at things)
And if you thought you'd heard it all about "Immaculate Conception" (or an almost-one, at any rate)....just stay tuned
And were any of you aware that, if you get a dog, you have a better chance of picking up guys
And that if you have on your political team (am not sure if the "kind" of team matters), a someone called "Freddie Mercury", or an even more strangely named, "Barack Obama".....you are always going to wind up a Winner
PARTING THOUGHT -- In the end, I hope those of you grown up folks out there (and lots of young people)....who are struggling to understand feelings of sexual uncertainty....find that this film (and especially its title) points you in the direction of the solutions you are seeking. Whether we be Heterosexual / Homosexual / Bisexual, we should always Stop....Take a Count....and question of ourselves: If we "ARE" different.....then just ask, "DIFFERENT FROM WHOM?"
PS -- With a last breath, let me suggest what is a Real (and only) shame involving this film: That its Native Italian son and Director (Umberto Riccioni Carteni) did not, at that time, enjoy the same Cinema stature as Adopted Italian son and Director (Turkish born Ferzan Ozpetek). Not only that, but had the same multitude of commercial and advertising forces used on Ozpetek's latest ("Loose Cannons"), been in play for the wonderful work I've just reviewed here, then quite another story about "Different From Whom?" might find a place in the world's cinematic history books.
PPS -- Oh, and don't forget to grab a look at 2009's "Handsome Harry".....along with my review (thankfully, it's even shorter than the preceding).
** From a personal point of view, I consider this film worthwhile enough to justify expenditure for an All-Regions DVD Player. Another plus is you can often find earlier DVD releases overseas. (Another possible source for the DVD of this film is Amazon.com/Italy).
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