A group of former friends meets again after a very long time, in a Christmas night, with the intent of ripping off a rich industrialist in a game of Poker. Old hatreds and mistrusts conflict with the nostalgia for the lost friendships.
Carlo Delle Piane,
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Carlo Delle Piane
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Lucrezia Lante della Rovere,
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I saw this film at the 2006 Palm springs International Film Festival where Director Pupi Avati was being recognized with the PSIFF International Filmmaker Award. They were showing several films there as a retrospective of the Italian directors films including The Second Wedding Night (La Seconda Notte di Nozze), The House with Laughing Windows (La Casa Dalle Finestre Che Ridono), Graduation Party (Festa di Laurea), The Story of Boys and Girls (Storia di Ragazzi e Ragazze), A Christmas Gift ( Regalo di Natale) and A School Outing ( Una Gita Scolastica). I am a fan of many Italian films and I had not seen any of Avati's so I took this one in. I think I picked the wrong one to see. This is a story of two high school teachers who in 1914 take 30 of their students from the music department who have earned the honor of a hike into the mountains to stay at an historic hotel. The older professor played by Carlo Delle Piane expresses his love for his younger beautiful associate played by Tiziana Pini. Nik Novencento, Rossana Casle, Giancarlo Terri and Lidia Broccolino in her debut role co star. It's bittersweet sentimental nostalgia based on a story told to Avati by his aunt who had a memorable school outing when she was in high school. The story is so simple that time is spent on film for a couple of out of place musical numbers where I thought the film was going to break out into a musical. I realize they were supposed to be musical numbers based on the early 1900's but they are staged so badly and so corny that you would think they were scenes from a 1950's movie not a film from 1983. You wait for some character development to begin but it never does. There is a hint of romantic comedy that never goes anywhere, no tension and nothing for anyone to do in this film. I felt embarrassed for myself that I was having a hard time staying awake through this and I wasn't even tired. I felt better for myself when leaving the theater I heard others commenting that there were people actually snoring in the back of the theater. A rewrite of the script and a remake of this and someone might be able to actually do something with the plot outline. The only way I would see this again would be if I was having trouble sleeping. I would give this a 5.0 out of 10.
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