Pranzo di Ferragosto (Mid-August Lunch) is one of the most perfect movies I have every seen in my life.
Written by, directed by, and starring Gianni Di Gregorio, who also helped write the screenplay for the excellent Gomorrah, (so it wasn’t exactly a fluke – he’s a good writer) this movie could not have been more of a surprise. How do I even explain why I loved it?
It’s about an unemployed, middle aged Roman who lives with his 93 year old mother and starts babysitting all the other old ladies in his neighborhood. The women are a little snotty to each other at first and then they really get to like each other and don’t want to go home.
What? Doesn’t sound interesting? Well, I guess you had to be there.
So be there – rent this movie. I’m sorry, I can’t adequately explain how charming and real the ladies are – you have to see for youselves. I don’t know how to explain even to myself why I was hanging on every word of their rather mundane conversations. It isn’t trying to be anything, and any lesson we might learn from it is unintentional. There’s no, “and the moral of this story is that old people are a treasure” or anything like that.
It was like having a really good day at one of your old relatives’ house. They’re cooking and complaining and cackling like hens and you look over and think, “I really love you guys.” It’s like that.
I guess you had to be there.