Un paese quasi perfetto (2016) Poster

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Winning Italian comedy retread.
Mozjoukine5 October 2017
Having this film shift Jean-François Pouliot's 2003 Canadian La GRANDE SEDUCTION (Seducing Dr. Lewis) to Pietramezzana, a declining village in the Lucan Dolomites, emphasises the connection to BENVENUTI AL SUD (2010) and REALITY (2012) both written by Gaudioso and pivoting on an orchestrated fantasy that gets out of hand.

I found the central deception off putting at first but the comic performances and affectionately handled characters win out. Orlandi is punching below his weight here but he demonstrates his skill by making endearing the desperation he brings to the mad scheme to attract a mining company to the town where the out of work community now exists on unemployment pay-outs and his roof leaks - despite his collecting a second dole for a dead associate. The company insists the town have a resident doctor.

They plan to recruit city plastic surgeon Volo using a succession of frauds of varying ingenuity and comic appeal - faking a local cricket team, dropping bank notes in the streets, having the town's one restaurant add sushi and giving Orlandi a lost son that the orphan doctor can relate to.

The way the situation is turned round for the finale is more inventive and more winning than the Canadian film and this one does work in making the community the focus for our sympathy. They are an interesting contrast to the conniving Sicilians in Ficarra & Picone's L'ORA LEGALE (It's The Law) of the same year. Both films deploy A- feature talent on a similar low comedy subject though their aims are very different.
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