A charmless movie adaptation of a fascinating novel
This is the movie adaptation of Andrea De Carlo's novel "Treno di panna" (Cream train) which took a disenchanted yet charming look at West Coast America. Much of the charm of that plotless novel lied, I suppose, in the peculiar anti-hero attitude of the main character, who constantly lies, is cynical, apathetic, sometimes spiteful and simply flees aways situations that he can't handle anymore -- all this with that non-judgmental lightness which is one of the most agreeable identification marks of Italian culture in novel- and movie-making. Unfortunately, most of the charm is gone in this movie reduction where the main character is honest, frank (and he's all but thrown out of his first accommodation for this) and righteous -- as if movie adaptation required a puritanisation process. As a whole, a far flatter and faker character (not because of the acting, which is quite good). The other changes made to the plot (e.g., would-be writers replaced by would-be musicians, and the filming location chosen to be New York City and not California) are only to be expected, although the bleak-side California of the novel was memorable and I missed it.
- Aug 25, 2003
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