Thanks to “I Love Italian Movies” reader Charles I was treated to an Italian movie about love and marriage, just as I was whining about Italy not making enough romantic movies. Charles sent me “Matrimini e altri Disasti’ and – Thank you Charles!” I enjoyed it – but it’s not a romantic movie.
Or do Italians and I have different ideas about what is romantic?
Matrimoni e Altri Disastri, Weddings and Other Disasters, stars Margherita Buy as Nanà, an unmarried older sister who agrees to plan Beatrice, her younger sister’s wedding. Bea, who claims to have business in Los Angeles and no time to do it herself, sends her fiance and Nanà out to find a band and look at china patterns; Nanà isn’t enjoying anything about it. Feeling as if her time is running out for a husband and family, wedding activities with the ill mannered fiance, Alessandro, played by Fabio Volo, is the last thing that Nanà wants to do.
American film makers would have told a whole different story. In an American version of this movie, Alessandro, who turns out to be not such a bad guy as he seems, would end up realizing that Bea is not the woman he thought she was and fall for Nanà, who is the wonderful one that is constantly getting dumped on. In the end, there would be a big, romantic realization that Nanà and Alessandro belong together. It might be predictable, cliche, and even bland, but it would be romantic.
The Italians played it all differently. Though it was pretty clear (to me) that Bea didn’t deserve Alessandro, that Alessandro was looking for someone more like Nanà, and that Nanà was the “good one”, the movie didn’t punish the wicked and reward the romantic at heart. This movie’s “happy ending” was a mystery to me.
In American romantic movies, the couple usually seems, at first, all wrong, totally mismatched, or just too far away from each other. But sparks fly, a fire is ignited and in the end love burns – a big, romantic ending. In American romantic movies the cheaters get punished and the cheated-on get revenge.
Italians don’t seem to worry about that so much.
I love Margherita Buy and “Matrimoni e Altri Disastri” is a fun movie, but when I talk about romantic movies – this isn’t it.
So I’m still looking – where are all the romantic Italian movies? Dieci Inverni is closer…but neither are available for US DVD players, yet, anyway.