Once upon a time there was a mysterious man from a faraway land that discovered a beautiful princess being held captive in a convent perched high on a craggy cliff by her selfish, greedy father. She was being forced into a marriage that she did not want and the mysterious stranger fell hopelessly in love with her. He climbed the craggy cliff and rescued her and they lived happily ever after…
…or did they?
Believe it or not, this is the story of “Il Regista di Matrimoni” (The Wedding Director), with Sergio Castellitto and Donatella Finocchiaro and believe it or not, I am not exaggerating the comparison to a fairy tale. The Wedding Director has it all, evil rulers of feudal worlds , enchanted animals, and of course an actual princess.
I guess it’s one of those really old, unsanitized fairy tales because it always has a sex scandal and nude wedding video, but most really good fairy tales have things that you have to take out before you read them to children.
Sergio Castellitto plays Franco Elinco, a film director who needs to get out of town (Rome) quick to avoid a sticky situation (sexual harassment charges). He goes to Sicily for awhile until things cool down and meets a local nobleman, the Principe (prince) who needs money and so he’s marrying his beautiful daughter Bona (played by Donatella Finocchiaro) off to a rich family. Bona is very unhappy but does what she’s told – until she meets Franco who falls madly in love with her and wants to rescue her.
The first time I watched this movie I, very frankly, had no idea what was going on and figured it was just my bad Italian getting in the way again. But the second time around I realized that I didn’t know what was going on because you really aren’t supposed to. (At least that’s what I’m telling myself now). The Wedding Director is disjointed and dreamlike, and it can be explained in any number of ways:
1) Franco is day dreaming about rescuing the beautiful bride.
2) There is no beautiful bride and it’s all his imagination.
3) He’s crazy.
4) He’s tired of making tedious movies and is the movie he’d really like to be making.
Sergio Castellitto is always great, and Donatella Finocchiaro is stunning. The Wedding Director is a little nutty but there is a lot to like about it. It combines Gothic drama with modern romance and when I stopped looking for realism and started seeing it as the fairy tale that it is, I really liked it.
Rent it from Netflix