Gianni is a middle-aged man living in Rome with his imposing and demanding elderly mother. His only outlet from her and the increasing debt into which they are sinking, are the increasingly... See full summary »
Gianni Di Gregorio
Valeria De Franciscis,
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Ernesto Lemos Macuacua
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It tells the story of a duck man Lin and his adopted daughter Hsiao-yue. Hsiao-yue know nothing about her real descent, which Lin have been keeping secret from her. But one day, someone appear and change her life..
Gianni is sixty. He is retired but has not become lazy for all that. In fact he is a helpful fellow who gives a hand to all those who need one: shopping for his wife, walking the pretty neighbor's dog, and so on. Everybody likes Gianni, but is it for the right reasons? Doesn't his wife profit by the situation (she still works so it is only logical that Gianni do all the chores)? Isn't he subject to the excruciating whims of his rich mother?... Sure, everybody LIKES Gianni, but who LOVES him? Agreed, being kind to them, he is the ladies pet, but he does not attract them anymore. That is why, when his macho lawyer friend Alfonso blames him for not having young mistresses "like every other senior Italian male", Gianni, who is beginning to ask himself questions about what it is like to become old, starts chasing dames... Written by
Saw - and enjoyed - this Italian comedy drama recently at our local Arts Centre film club. This rich slice of late middle aged Gianni's (Gianni de Gregorio, who is also the film's director) life is one of being ignored by his wife, avoiding his eccentric mother and being jealous of all his friends who seem to still have what it takes with the ladies...
Modestly staged, filmed mostly in one cramped town house and with a script that seems at times to be ad-libbed, there's a certain enthusiasm about it all, a relish for life and one of wishing for the finer things in life.
Subsequently, he tries to chat up the ladies but the smallest of obstacles upset his plans, including his mother's thirst for innocent (but costly) gambling with her friends. One of the comedic highlights is when Gianni is told that a little blue pill is all he needs for an invigorated love life - and he doesn't realise exactly how that might come about. It's tastefully done, I have to add!
Seemably using much the same cast as he did with 'Mid August Lunch' Di Gregorio keeps it 'in the family', low key and undoubtedly, cheap.
This little film won't pick up the awards at Cannes and can seem just a little disorganised, but its quiet charm warmed over all that went to see it, including me. Recommended as something a little different and not too heavy, not too long either - suitable for the older generation, too. Also, a good alternative to a trashy rom-com if you're renting.
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